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Journal Article

A meta-analysis of country-level studies on environmental change and migration


Hoffmann,  Roman
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Dimitrova,  Anna
External Organizations;

Muttarak,  Raya
External Organizations;

Crespo Cuaresma,  Jesus
External Organizations;

Peisker,  Jonas
External Organizations;

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Hoffmann, R., Dimitrova, A., Muttarak, R., Crespo Cuaresma, J., Peisker, J. (2020): A meta-analysis of country-level studies on environmental change and migration. - Nature Climate Change, 10, 10, 904-912.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_24577
The impact of climate change on migration has gained both academic and public interest in recent years. Here we employ a meta-analysis approach to synthesize the evidence from 30 country-level studies that estimate the effect of slow- and rapid-onset events on migration worldwide. Most studies find that environmental hazards affect migration, although with contextual variation. Migration is primarily internal or to low- and middle-income countries. The strongest relationship is found in studies with a large share of countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, particularly from Latin America and the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa, and in studies of middle-income and agriculturally dependent countries. Income and conflict moderate and partly explain the relationship between environmental change and migration. Combining our estimates for differential migration responses with the observed environmental change in these countries in recent decades illustrates how the meta-analytic results can provide useful insights for the identification of potential hotspots of environmental migration.