What Are Push and Pull Factors in Terms of Population?

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In reference to population, push and pull factors are the reasons and conditions that drive people from one geographic area and pull them to another, according to The Levin Institute. An example of a push factor is the inability to earn a living wage in a location or country. A corresponding example of a pull factor is the promise of jobs and financial security in another location.

Drought, flooding and other natural disasters are push factors that cause the migration and temporary or permanent relocation of small and large segments of populations. Poverty, war, high crime rate and unsafe living conditions also cause mass movements and population shifts. Pull factors that are seen as solutions to such dangerous or debilitating conditions include the possibility of living in a stable country or area with a higher standard of living, lower rate of crime and less likelihood of experiencing natural disasters due to favorable geographic location. Developed countries seek foreign workers, especially for menial tasks, and provide a strong pull factor for laborers who see their new country's minimum wage and health and welfare benefits as a vast improvement. Political affiliations, religious beliefs and extreme weather conditions also create a push from one region and a pull to a region known for its tolerance and comfort.