A meta-analysis of country-level studies on environmental change and migration

Roman Hoffmann, Anna Dimitrova, Raya Muttarak, Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Jonas Peisker

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135 Citations (Scopus)
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The impact of climate change on migration has gained both academic and public interest in recent years. Here we employ a meta-analysis approach to synthesize the evidence from 30 country-level studies that estimate the effect of slow- and rapid-onset events on migration worldwide. Most studies find that environmental hazards affect migration, although with contextual variation. Migration is primarily internal or to low- and middle-income countries. The strongest relationship is found in studies with a large share of countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, particularly from Latin America and the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa, and in studies of middle-income and agriculturally dependent countries. Income and conflict moderate and partly explain the relationship between environmental change and migration. Combining our estimates for differential migration responses with the observed environmental change in these countries in recent decades illustrates how the meta-analytic results can provide useful insights for the identification of potential hotspots of environmental migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-912
Number of pages9
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number10
Early online date14 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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