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Push Factors

Last updated: November 27, 2021

What Does Push Factors Mean?

A push factor is a factor that motivates a person to migrate away from their country or region of residence. Push factors are often used with negative connotation, since they often consist of problems, distressing situations, and political or economic failures.

Examples of potential problems that may cause a geographic push factor include:

  • Lack of jobs or opportunities
  • Absence of good educational institutes
  • Poor medical care
  • Poverty
  • Famine or drought
  • War and political conflicts
  • Religious or political persecution
  • Natural disasters
  • Pollution
  • Poor hygienic conditions
  • Inadequate public services

Safeopedia Explains Push Factors

Economic conditions are the most common push factor motivating people to emigrate from their country or geographical region. However, other factors can still play a major role, including concerns about health and safety.

Push factors can be contrasted with pull factors, which are the conditions that attract people to move to a particular region. Both are intertwined, since the push factors motivate people to leave their area of residence while the pull factors play a role in determining their country, state, or municipality of destination.

Workplace Safety as a Push Factor

Workers might be motivated to emigrate because of the high level of risks they face on the job. This is especially true of those who are employed in highly hazardous industries, such as oil and gas or construction.

In jurisdictions where occupational safety regulations are inadequate, inexistent, or unenforced, workers may not be provided with machine guards, rest and hydration breaks, adequate PPE, fall protection equipment, or other things they need to carry out their work safely. The fear of coming to harm on the job can be a strong movitation to leave in favor of a geographical area where they can earn a living without undue risk of illness, injury, or fatality. .

Main Factors Affecting Migration

  • Sociopolitical, economic, and ecological factors
  • Ethnic and religious intolerance
  • Violence or political unrest
  • Significant economic disparities
  • Food insecurity and unreliable access to clean drinking water
  • Lack of adequate education and employment opportunities
  • Human rights abuses and lack of freedom of expression
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