Impact of migration processes on changes in the social structure of cities


Социологические науки

Ключевые слова

social structure
urban development
migration policy

Аннотация статьи

This article analyzes the impact of migration processes on the social structure of cities. It examines how migration affects demographic composition, economic development, social cohesion and urban culture. The importance of effective migration policies for improving the integration of migrants and maintaining social harmony in cities is emphasized.

Текст статьи


Migration is one of the key factors shaping the social fabric of modern cities. This study focuses on how migration processes contribute to the transformation of urban communities, affecting their demographic profile, economy, social ties and cultural life. The aim of the study is to assess the impact of migration flows on the changing social structure of cities and to develop recommendations for migration management policies.

Literature review

Modern sociology views migration as a multilevel process that affects various aspects of urban life. Researchers such as Castles and Miller (2009) emphasize the role of migration in globalizing cities and changing their social landscapes. Also important is the work of Sassen (2012), who highlights the role of "global cities" as centers of attraction for migrants. In addition, studies on the impact of migration on the labor market, housing policies, and social services are worth mentioning (Schmidt-Catran, 2016).


In order to analyze the impact of migration processes on the social structure of cities, a comprehensive approach combining qualitative and quantitative methods was chosen. The research was based on data from statistical agencies, including the results of surveys conducted by Pollsar LLC research company, as well as interviews with migrants and experts in the field of urban planning.


The analysis showed that migration has a significant impact on the demographic composition of cities, contributing to ethnic and cultural diversity. It found that migrants actively participate in the economic life of cities, but face a number of challenges related to social integration and access to public services.

The study identified global migration trends: According to the UN, the number of international migrants continues to grow and will exceed 281 million by 2020, representing approximately 3.6% of the world's population.


Pic. Distribution of migrants by world region. Based on the IOM World Migration Report 2022

Wars have been a major driver of migration in recent years. Since 2022, for example, people have continued to leave war-torn Ukraine en masse. By June 2023, about 4.7 million Ukrainian citizens were living in OECD member countries. Countries such as Germany, Poland and the United States are receiving the largest number of Ukrainian refugees. At the same time, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania stand out among the countries receiving the largest number of Ukrainians relative to their population. There has been a steady increase in the number of migrants moving to urban areas, which has been accompanied by a strengthening of the urban population. Cities such as Dubai, Toronto and Sydney are becoming multinational and multicultural centers where a significant proportion of the population is made up of foreign migrants.

Migration has also been found to have an increasing impact on the economy and the labor market: Migrants often make significant contributions to host economies, especially in sectors where there are labor shortages. In OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, for example, migrants make up a significant share of the workforce, with studies showing that they contribute 1-2% to GDP growth. At the same time, migration flows can put pressure on social services and infrastructure, especially if integration and government support are inadequate.

Surveys have shown that social organization and integration remain the main challenges associated with global migration: Difficulties in integrating migrants and the reactions of the local population remain major challenges. These include language barriers and access to education and social services. On the other hand, migrants increase cultural diversity, enrich the cultural life of cities, and can contribute to global interaction and innovation.


The results of the study have shown that migration problems are obvious and cannot be ignored. City administrators and governments face the challenge of formulating migration policies that balance the needs of migrants with the interests of the local population. Examples of successful policies include sanctuary cities such as San Francisco and New York, which protect the rights of migrants and ensure their social integration.

The data from the surveys point to the need to develop policies that support the integration of migrants and harness their potential for urban development. The importance of intercultural dialogue and flexible migration policies in the context of maintaining social harmony is not insignificant.

Migration has a significant and multidimensional impact on the social fabric of cities, which is confirmed by the data. Based on the analysis, it can be concluded that migration flows lead to a significant increase in demographic diversity in urban agglomerations, contribute to economic development through the participation of migrants in the labor force, and contribute to the cultural enrichment of society.

However, these processes are accompanied by a number of challenges, including the need to integrate migrants into the social fabric of cities and ensure their access to quality housing and public services. The effectiveness of migration policies and integration programs is becoming a critical factor in minimizing potential social tensions and enhancing the positive impact of migration on urban development.


The results of the study emphasize the importance of competent management of migration processes and the development of comprehensive strategies aimed at social adaptation and integration of migrants. For harmonious interaction between migrants and the local population, it is necessary to create conditions for intercultural communication, equal access to resources and opportunities, and the development of inclusive urban spaces.

In conclusion, migration is a key element of contemporary urban dynamics that requires careful study and responsible management. Further research in this area should focus on finding effective approaches to integrating migrants, ensuring their sustainable contribution to urban development and strengthening social cohesion.

Migration encompasses a wide range of economic, social, political, and legal issues within society. Currently, there are several unresolved and pressing problems associated with migration processes:

  1. Integration of migrants into host societies. Issues such as language barriers, access to quality education and employment, social inclusion, and combating discrimination remain pressing.
  2. Regulation of the status of refugees and asylum seekers. Inefficient asylum application procedures and the provision of refugee status, as well as determining safe countries for their return.
  3. Illegal migration and human trafficking. Challenges in controlling illegal migration, combating human trafficking and exploitation of migrants.
  4. Family reunification. Difficulties in the process of reuniting migrant and refugee families due to legislative barriers and bureaucratic procedures.
  5. Protection of human rights and dignity of migrants. Ensuring the protection of migrants' rights, preventing violations of their rights, and providing access to basic services and support.
  6. Economic integration of migrants. Creating conditions for the effective utilization of migrants' potential, including their skills and education, to contribute to economic development.
  7. International cooperation and responsibility sharing. The need for enhanced international cooperation and fair sharing of responsibilities among countries in matters of migration and asylum provision.
  8. Adapting migration policy to climate change. Considering the impact of climate change on migration processes and developing strategies to address the issue of climate refugees.
  9. Combating xenophobia and racism. Overcoming negative stereotypes and biased attitudes towards migrants in society, increasing the level of tolerance and mutual understanding.

These challenges require a comprehensive approach to resolution, including coordinated efforts at both the national and international levels, the development and implementation of effective migration policies, and active participation of civil society and international organizations.

Список литературы

  1. Castles, S., & Miller, M. J. (2009). The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. Guilford Press.
  2. Sassen, S. (2012). Cities in a World Economy. SAGE Publications.
  3. Schmidt-Catran, A.W. (2016). Immigration and Welfare Support in Germany. American Sociological Review, 81(2), P. 242-261.



Yasnikov Y. S. Impact of migration processes on changes in the social structure of cities // Наука и образование как факторы социальной динамики : сборник научных трудов по материалам Международной научно-практической конференции 15 апреля 2024г. Белгород : ООО Агентство перспективных научных исследований (АПНИ), 2024. С. 30-33. URL:

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