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Human Migration

Woman on Mountain

Migrations have occurred throughout human history. Mass migrations occur because of environmental, political, economic, or cultural reasons. Voluntary human migrations often involve leaving a place because of a food shortage, war, natural catastrophe, or to seek a better life.

Trends in Voluntary Human Migration

  • Most migrants are male.
  • Most migrants go from rural to urban settings.
  • Most migrations occur in stages.
  • Migrants traveling long distances usually settle in urban areas.
  • Most migrants only travel short distances.

National Parks Commemorating Human Migration

These and other national parks commemorate voluntary human migration.

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island National Monuments

A welcome sight to new immigrants, the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States. Opened on January 1, 1892, Ellis Island became the nation's premier federal immigration station. In operation until 1954, the station processed over 12 million immigrant steamship passengers.

Homestead National Monument

Homestead National Monument

The cry was FREE LAND! The Homestead Act of 1862 was one of the most significant and enduring events in the westward expansion of the United States. By granting free land, it allowed nearly any man or woman a chance to live the American dream.

Golden Spike National Historic Site

Golden Spike National Historic Site

On May 10, 1869 the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails at Promontory Summit and became this nation's first transcontinental railroad.

Last Updated: January 23, 2015