Climate-Related Migration to the Pacific Northwest

Full Title

Exploring Factors that May Influence Climate-Related Migration to the Pacific Northwest

Project Overview

Recent articles have suggested that the Pacific Northwest will experience an exceptional influx of residents fleeing undesirable or inhospitable climate conditions elsewhere in the country and the globe. Media coverage of this idea has raised concern among public service providers, who are uncertain what shifting migration patterns could mean about demand for public services in the area. However, current research on environmentally-related human migration supports a more complex understanding of the relationship between climate and migration patterns than the straightforward causal connection depicted in these news articles. Initial research suggests that the costly decision to migrate is rarely attributable to a single cause and is influenced by demographic, social, and economic factors in combination with environmental conditions. This systematic review of the academic research and gray literature on climate-related human migration will illuminate the “push” forces that could drive certain people to move away from their homes under changing climatic conditions as well as the “pull” forces that could draw them to the Pacific Northwest.

Key Personnel

* Indicates CIG Personnel of CIG Affiliate(s)

  • Ann Bostrom, University of Washington*
  • Alison Saperstein, University of Washington*
  • Lara Whitely Binder, University of Washington*

Key Collaborators

Portland State University

Funding

Currently seeking funding

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