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Disasters and migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Elizabeth Fussell

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm175

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Fussell, E. 2013. Disasters and migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Historical examples of 19th-century Irish famine victims fleeing their country, 1930s-era US farmers displaced by dust storms, and recent drought-driven migrants in sub-Saharan Africa all suggest that natural disasters are important causes of migration. Furthermore, how natural disasters produce migration is of growing interest given that climate change is likely to increase the number of disasters and disaster victims in coming decades (Van Aalst 2006). A recent review of the literature finds that the relationship between disasters and migration is complex, and they are not as likely to produce mass migrations as these notable examples may lead us to believe (Raleigh et al. n.d.).


  • capitalism;
  • political economy;
  • demography and population studies;
  • development;
  • regional development