Net Migration Rate: Definition, Formula & Statistics

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  • 0:00 Definition of Net…
  • 0:57 Formula of Net Migration Rate
  • 1:18 Net Migration Rate Example
  • 2:33 Uses of Net Migration Rate
  • 4:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Net migration is a term often used in sociology and deals with population. Have you ever heard of it? This lesson will fill you in on some details and help you understand how it is figured out.

Definition of Net Migration Rate

To study net migration rate, we're going to peek over Jorge's shoulder as he does his job. Jorge is a new population analyst who advises his country's central government on what types of projects should receive funding.

The net migration rate for a given period of time is the difference between how many people come from other regions to live in the region being discussed. These migrations are known as immigration and how many people leave the region to live elsewhere, which is known as emigration. A positive net migration rate means that more people are moving into an area than are leaving it. Conversely, a negative net migration rate means that more people are moving out of an area than are moving into it. The net migration rate, just like many other population statistics, is most often reported per 1,000 residents over a period of one year and using estimated mid-year population.

Formula of Net Migration Rate

The formula for net migration rate is simple:

N = 1000 x (I - E) / P

N = net migration rate
E = number of people emigrating out of the country
I = number of people immigrating into the country
P = the estimated mid-year population

Net Migration Rate Example

Jorge is looking up the data necessary to calculate the net migration rate for his country. At the beginning of 2014, the population was 98 million people. During that same year, 3 million people immigrated into to the country to live, 1 million people emigrated out of the country, 6 million babies were born, and 4 million people died. His current task is to figure out what the net migration rate was for his country in 2014.

The trickiest part of this is to figure out the mid-year population. The 2014 population starts at 98 million and ends at 102 million because 98 + 3 -1 + 6 - 4 = 102. That would make the mid-year population estimate 100 million, because 100 is halfway between 98 and 102.

N = 1000 x (I - E) / P

Working in millions, this becomes:

N = 1000 x (3 - 1) / (100) = 2000 / 100 = 20

Another way to express this is that for every 1,000 people in this country at the beginning of the year, 20 more will have moved in by the end of the year.

Uses of Net Migration Rate

Population statistics like net migration rate are very useful in determining the needs that might be placed on certain infrastructure. A lot of people moving into an area means that roads, schools, housing, and shopping areas will likely all need to expand to give these people a way to function well in that society. This influx might also impact social services, police departments, healthcare facilities, and other infrastructure long term. Of course, if there are a lot of people moving out of an area, infrastructure projects become less important and not as many extra government services will be needed.

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