Skip to Content

Computer keyboard. Photo credit: Daniel Joseph

The expansion of the Internet is changing migration patterns

The expansion of the Internet is shaping migration movements in a profound way. A study conducted by McGill University in Canada in more than 150 countries, linked Internet penetration to migration intentions and behaviours, suggesting that digital connectivity plays a key role in decisions about migration and actively supported the migration process.

Published: February 4, 2021, 9:55 am

    Read more

    Countries with a high percentage of Internet users tend to have more citizens willing to migrate. At the individual level, the link between Internet use and intention to migrate is stronger among women and people with less education. According to the international team of researchers from McGill University, Oxford University, University of Calabria and Bocconi University, the same results are obtained when comparing economic migrants and political migrants.

    “The digital revolution triggered by the advent of the Internet has transformed our societies, economies and lifestyles. Migration is no exception,” said Luca Maria Pesando, study co-author and assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the Center for Population Dynamics at McGill University.

    Nürnberg, Bavaria, Germany. The Internet remembers. Save Your Internet – Demonstration against upload filter – Article 13 #CensorshipMachine. Photo credit: Markus Spiske

    As part of the study published in Population and Development Review, researchers examined internet use and migration routes using data from the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union, the Global Peace Index, the Arab Barometer and the Gallup Global Poll, an international poll of citizens from 160 countries.

    Their findings highlighted the importance of the Internet as an information channel for migrants leaving their countries in search of a better life, Techno-science reported. Unlike political migrants, who may be pushed, for example, by the sudden escalation of civil conflict, economic migrants make decisions more likely to take advantage of access to information the Internet provides and to be influenced by the desire for a brighter future in the destination country.

    “Not only does the Internet give us access to more information, but it also allows us, through social media, to easily compare ourselves with other people living in other – often richer countries”, noted Prof. Pesando.

    When researchers looked at migration data in Italy – a country that has seen a significant increase in the influx of migrants over the past two decades – they found a strong correlation between internet use in the country of origin of migrants and the presence of people from this country in the population register Italian the following year. By tracking migrants, including asylum seekers and refugees who passed through the Sant’Anna immigration center in Calabria, the researchers also made a connection between digital skills and knowledge of migration routes.

    “Our results contribute to the growing number of research papers on digital demographics, under which the data produced by the Internet or digital navigation paths are used to study the migration and other demographic phenomena,” said Prof. Pesando. “Our work suggests that the Internet not only serves as an instrument for observing migration behaviour, but actively supports the migration process.”

    As for the next steps, the research team, which includes Francesco Billari from Bocconi University and Ridhi Kashyap and Valentina Rotondi from the University of Oxford, will study the effects of digital technologies and connectivity on advancements in social development, women’s empowerment and reproductive health as well as the well-being of children from one generation to the next.

    The study: The article “The Internetization of International Migration”, by Luca Maria Pesando, Valentina Rotondi, Manuela Stranges, Ridhi Kashyap and Francesco C. Billari, was published in Population and Development Review . The study was funded by the grant of the European Research Council on Discontinuities in the Formation of Households and Families.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • pravinupadhyay99

      I have found this article very interesting
      If you want to purchase a tractor then do visit our website
      Visit here:


    Interview with Alexander Dugin – ‘Welcome all newcomers!’

    Prof. Alexander Dugin, philosopher and geopolitical expert from Russia, sees the world changing: the old liberalism is being replaced by a new, aggressive, globalist mutation. Manuel Ochsenreiter's interview with Dugin gives a fascinating insight into the globalist future.

    Legal expert condemns Dutch patience for jihadists

    RotterdamA case that is representative of the ongoing Islamization of the Netherlands has exposed the Dutch tolerance for Islamic extremists, argues Paul Cliteur, a distinguished law professor in the Netherlands from Leiden University and a defence witness for Geert Wilders when Wilders was on trial for “hate speech”.

    German PEI greenlights Pfizer citing insufficient data after myocarditis reports

    BerlinThe new report by the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) states that there is still "no clear picture" between cases of myocardial inflammation and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations. Mainly young men are affected. Notably, myocarditis can trigger a life-threatening arrhythmia or lead to cardiac arrest.

    AfD inquiry into refugee policy making waves in Hong Kong

    BerlinAn inquiry from the Eurosceptic AfD to the German federal government regarding the "German refugee policy towards the Chinese special administrative zone Hong Kong and the granting of asylum status" has apparently caused a sensation reaching as far as Southeast Asia.

    Education and immigration are main primers for voter choices

    ParisThe economists Amory Gethin, Clara Martínez-Toledano and Thomas Piketty, who work at the World Inequality Lab at the Paris School of Economics, asked some interesting questions in a study published in early May. The three researchers collected data from several Western democracies. Immigrant voters distinguish themselves by choosing the left.

    New Austrian conservative strongman calls into question arbitrary Corona rules

    ViennaFormer Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) is considered the new strong man in his party, slated to take over the leadership soon. In an interview translated from ZUERST! Kickl explains how he wants to bring the FPÖ back to being the top party.

    Swede gets kicked in the head by immigrant gang but media conceals the facts

    SkövdeAt Vasaskolan in Skövde, a brutal assault occurred in May, when a student received blows and kicks to the head by seven attackers. In the local media, important facts were concealed: The abuse is part of an increasingly tense ethnic conflict between Swedish young people and immigrants from Skövde's ghetto Södra Ryd.

    Macron slapped in the face: ‘He got what he deserved’

    ParisCNews star Eric Zemmour commented on the slap received by French President Emmanuel Macron on June 8, 2021. While condemning the slap given to Macron, the journalist and columnist considered that the President of the Republic "got what he deserved" because Macron "himself has desecrated the function".

    Macron slapped in the face by royalist

    Tain-l'HermitageDamien Tarel, presumed author of the aggression against the French president, and Arthur C. were arrested by the gendarmes of the Surveillance and Intervention Platoon of the Gendarmerie (PSIG) of Valence. They were presented, according to one source, as “yellow vests”, a fact which was denied by the public prosecutor.

    Alarming number of bankruptcies due to lock-down in Germany

    BerlinAlice Weidel, the co-leader of the AfD noted the alarming number of people who have filed for personal bankruptcy since the Corona pandemic began.

    Go to archive