What is known about the effects of migration on the happiness of migrants? According to a study by Martijn Hendriks and co-authors, published in the 2018 World Happiness Report, international migrants worldwide evaluate the quality of their lives on average 9 percent higher after migration. This study’s large sample is highly representative of the global migrant population and includes many types of migrants, such as economic migrants, family reunification migrants, highly skilled migrants, and to a more limited extent refugees. The average migrant, according to the study, experiences approximately 5 percent more positive emotion (enjoyment, happiness, and laughter) and 7 percent less negative emotion (worry, sadness, and anger) following migration. These findings highlight that moving to another country is for many people a powerful instrument to improve their lives.
In the absence of global longitudinal data tracking migrants across borders, this study evaluated effects on happiness by comparing the happiness of migrants with that of demographically similar people living in the origin country and expressing a desire to migrate (potential migrants). Thus, migrants benefit from migration if they report higher happiness levels than these matched potential migrants who have not left.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Does Migration Increase Happiness? It Depends | migrationpolicy.org