Migration Patterns in Duhok Governorate, Iraq, 2000-2010

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Migration is commonly associated with large scale movements of people, from one country to another, both in terms of refugee displacement and voluntary migration. The internal movement within countries is however less studied despite the fact that this is an important indicator for imbalance and also crucial for planning the future for the country. In Iraq, a major reason for migration has been security, due to its turbulent history since the 1980’s. This has caused a large scale displacement of Iraqi people. More recently, Kurdistan Region in Iraq has been stabilized leading to more voluntary population movements, such as economic migration. This paper seeks to contribute with information on the internal and external movements in Duhok Governorate, Kurdistan, Iraq, looking at reasons for migration, characteristics of the migrants and the time for migration. Data on migration, environment and rural livelihoods was collected through 606 interviews in rural villages in Duhok Governorate.Additionally, 600 interviews were conducted in the urban areas of Duhok, Semel, Zakho and Amedi, to capture the rural to urban migration. The study found that economy is the main reason for migration, closely followed by family/marriage. There is a trend of urban to rural migration for households, contradicting common notions of urbanization. Individuals however are more prone to migrate abroad or from rural to urban areas. Environmental migration is low and can be explained by the low dependence on agriculture in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-58
JournalThe Open Geography Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physical Geography
  • Other Social Sciences


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