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Asia, development and migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Ronald Skeldon

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm041

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Skeldon, R. 2013. Asia, development and migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Asia covers a vast area encompassing some 4.2 billion people, over 60 percent of the world's population. It includes some of the world's largest and most dynamic economies such as China, as well as weaker and poorer nations such as Laos and Tajikistan. Hence, given the marked difference in levels of development across the region, migration also varies greatly. Nevertheless, within all the variety, certain common patterns exist: an increased concentration of population in urban areas and a growing tendency for people to be involved in migration outside the region as well as to destinations within the region. These patterns are essentially the result of trends that fall under the rubric of “globalization” driven by the demand for resources required to sustain the economies of the more developed parts of the world. These resources include oil and other raw materials, but also labor. Hence, the transition to service economies in the developed world with the shift of manufacturing offshore to parts of the developing world has been an integral part of this transition, which has been associated with “development” in its broadest sense. The underlying linkages between migration and development are complex and lie beyond this brief essay, which focuses on describing current patterns, their origins and their prospects.


  • demography and population studies;
  • development;
  • farming;
  • employment and unemployment;
  • labor supply;
  • sustainable development