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European labor migration, 19th century

Migration A–Z


  1. Jochen Oltmer

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm210

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Oltmer, J. 2013. European labor migration, 19th century. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Industrialization, agrarian modernization, and urbanization changed the European economic and social status quo fundamentally during the 19th century, and led at the same time to a far-reaching shift in migration patterns. Individuals, families, and groups resorted to moving between different geographical and social environments in their efforts to improve their earning prospects or labor market access, or to provide themselves with new opportunities. In the 19th century it was above all in the thrusting industrial/urban centers that such new earning potential became available. Millions of intra- and interregional and transnational individual labor migrations were the consequence (for further details and considerations here and following, see Oltmer 2010).


  • labor;
  • labor supply;
  • political economy;
  • development;
  • regional development;
  • cultural diversity