This paper draws on surveys/interviews with 678 Nigerian university undergraduates to examine migration intentions and to detect if gender differences exist in reasons to migrate (or not) to the United States. This study is unique by focusing on future migration among university students, whose views and migration plans have been neglected in previous studies. As a departure from few previous scholarships in Africa, the paper introduces two new variables: perception of America as a land of socio-economic opportunities and whether respondents actively participate in the U.S. Visa Lottery Program. Findings indicate that a higher proportion of males than females cites better employment opportunities as reason for planning to move. However, more females than males mention security and better infrastructures available in America as motives for wanting to emigrate within the next five years. A higher proportion of women than men mention social and cultural ties with homeland and perception of racism in America as factors discouraging them from wanting to live in the United States; whereas, more men than women wanting to stay in Nigeria refer to patriotism/love of homeland as reasons. Perception of America as a land of opportunities and active participation in the U.S. Visa Lottery Program are among significant predictors of intentions to migrate. Findings have implications for policies aimed at improving quality of life in Nigeria, thereby, reducing emigration of “future leaders of tomorrow”.
|Keywords:||Migration Intention, International Migration, Gender, Brain Drain, Nigeria, United States|
Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology/Sociology and Ethnic Studies Program, Albion College, Albion, Michigan, USA
student, Department of Anthropology, Department of Chemistry, Albion College, Michigan, Michigan, USA
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