Agents of Change: Gender Differences in Migration Intentions among University Undergraduates in Nigeria

By 'Dimeji Togunde and Jacob Rinkinen.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.175-190. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.216MB).

Prof. 'Dimeji Togunde

Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology/Sociology and Ethnic Studies Program, Albion College, Albion, Michigan, USA

‘Dimeji Togunde is Professor of Sociology and John S. Ludington Chair in the Social Sciences at Albion College, Michigan, USA. He also is Chair of the Department of Anthropology/Sociology and Director of Ethnic Studies Program. His teaching and research interests focus on African Diaspora, immigration, and family demography. He received his Ph.D. degree in Development Sociology from Cornell University.

Jacob Rinkinen

student, Department of Anthropology, Department of Chemistry, Albion College, Michigan, Michigan, USA

Jacob Rinkinen is an Albion undergraduate, majoring in Chemistry (Pre-med) and Anthropology/Sociology. He is also a research fellow for the Foundation for Undergraduate research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA).

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