Immigrant health

Insights and implications

Authored by: K. Bruce Newbold

Routledge Handbook of Health Geography

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138098046
eBook ISBN: 9781315104584
Adobe ISBN:


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With more than 244 million international migrants in 2015 alone, the number of international migrants continues to grow on a year-by-year basis, reflecting uneven economic opportunities, persecution, and conflict (United Nations, 2016). Fundamentally, international migration includes both voluntary and involuntary (forced) movement, with the reason for the former typically including family reunification as well as economic motivations – including a combination of push factors in the origin country, such as poor employment prospects, large populations and low wages, and pull factors in the receiving country including higher wages and employment prospects. Involuntary or forced migration includes refugees, or individuals who are forced from their home country in order to escape war, persecution or violence. In fact, immigrant and refugee movements have become one of the most pressing social, economic and humanitarian issues faced by countries around the globe. In 2015 alone, more than a million refugees made their way out of Africa and the Middle East into Europe, although this represented just a small part of the estimated 23.3 million refugees globally in the same year (United Nations, 2016).

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