The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Contemporary migration intentions in the Maldives: the role of environmental and other factors

Speelman, Laurens, Nicholls, Robert and Dyke, James (2016) Contemporary migration intentions in the Maldives: the role of environmental and other factors Sustainability Science, pp. 1-19. (doi:10.1007/s11625-016-0410-4).

Record type: Article


Migration is often mentioned as a major potential impact of climate change for small island states, especially low-lying atolls. Understanding future migration flows, including the potential role of environmental change, requires an interdisciplinary approach, focusing both on environmental and socio-economic factors. This paper presents a detailed analysis of contemporary migration decision-making processes in a small island nation—the Maldives—based on a survey conducted in 2015. The results challenge the view that climate change is influencing contemporary migration behaviour in the Maldives. The survey shows how attitudes influence intention to migrate both internally and internationally. Existing analysis of the national census shows a strong urbanisation trend, with significant net migration to the capital island Malé and its environs, dominating national migration flows. People consider perceived employment and educational opportunities, quality of health services, and expectations about general quality of life, happiness, and social environment. In addition, many Maldivians have a high intention to migrate internationally. Hence, the reduction of barriers to international migration by, for example, establishment of international migrant networks, or policies enabling migration from the Maldives, is likely to increase international migration. Maldivians widely express knowledge and concern about climate change and sea-level rise, recognising the high vulnerability of the island nation. However, such considerations are not presently important in their decisions about migration.

Other Contemporary migration intentions in the Maldives,The role of environmental and other factors.docx - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 9 November 2017.
Download (1MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 27 October 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 November 2016
Organisations: Energy & Climate Change Group


Local EPrints ID: 403474
ISSN: 1862-4065
PURE UUID: 4c4e95da-8d97-49ba-975b-39ad0ced01ef
ORCID for James Dyke: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Dec 2016 10:06
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:42

Export record



Author: Laurens Speelman
Author: Robert Nicholls
Author: James Dyke ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.