Emigration is the act of leaving one's resident country with the intent to settle elsewhere. Conversely, immigration describes the movement of persons into one country from another. Both are acts of migration across national boundaries.
Demographers examine push and pull factors for people to be pushed out of one place and attracted to another. There can be a desire to escape negative circumstances such as shortages of land or jobs, or unfair treatment. People can be pulled to the opportunities available elsewhere. Seeking refugee status in a foreign country from oppressive conditions may lead to permanent emigration.
Involuntary migration refers to groups that are forced to abandon their native country, such as by enforced population transfer or the threat of ethnic cleansing.
Patterns of emigration have been shaped by numerous economic, social, and political changes throughout the world in the last few hundred years. For instance, millions of individuals fled poverty, violence, and political turmoil in Europe to settle in the Americas and Oceania during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.