Running away

  • 30/12/1996

Running away The number of people emigrating is rising steadily every year. All these movements derive from the failure of societies to meet the fundamental needs and aspirations of their citizens, for safe places to live, or for jobs. Poverty and environmental degradation create scarcities that push people out of their original habitats. War and disintegration unsettle millions, and barring occasional hazards - a Chernobyl or Bhopal - famine, combined with political extremism and armed conflict account for the majority of migrations. Of late, large disparity in income levels have been found to be at the root of some of the largest population movements of all times.

Home less

Internally displaced persons registered by UNHCR, circa early 1995

Country Number
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mozambique
Azerbaijan
Croatia
Tajikistan
Afghanistan
Cyprus
Georgia
Angola
Armenia
2,740,000
791,100
778,000
520,000
520,000
290,000
265,000
260,000
200,000
150,000
TOTAL 6,514,100
Source: UNHCR, private communication, February, 3, 1995


Job hunting

The increasing need for employment, developing regions only, 1950-2010

Year Workers
(millions)
Additional jobs needed
(millions)
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
2010
802
916
1,120
1,416
1,778
2,138
2,511
-
114
204
296
362
360
373
Source: Ignacy Sachs, "Population, development, and employment," International Social Science Journal, Population: Issues and Policies (Oxford: UNESCO and Basil Blackwell Publishers, September, 1994) and Worldwatch calculations

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