Some major migration events over recent history
Posted by Mission Catalyst at 09:52 on 27th May 2010
At the end of the Second World War, the Potsdam Agreement signed by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union in 1945 led to the migration and resettlement of around 20 million people - one of the largest European migrations.
The largest affected groups were the 16.5 million Germans forced westwards from Eastern Europe, and the millions of Poles forced to resettle in 'rediscovered territories'.
The partition of British India in 1947 into Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India led to one of the largest mass migrations in history.
The break-up along religious lines resulted in the movement of about 14.5 million people - Muslims going to Pakistan from India and Hindus and Sikhs going in the opposite direction.
The consequences were in many cases disastrous, with the governments being unprepared for such massive social upheaval: law and order broke down and huge violence sparked off on both sides of the border causing between 200,000 and up to a million casualties, around 12 million people left homeless and thousands were raped.
For more see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/6922293.stm
Transatlantic slave trade
Between 9.4 and 12 million African slaves reached the Americas between the 15th and 19th centuries, however it is likely that many more were taken from their homelands. Around 10-20 per cent lost their lives during shipment.
The biggest mass migration of human history is currently underway in China. Over the next 25 years it is estimated that up to 345 million people will move from the rural areas of China to the cities. Some people are calling it the second Industrial Revolution.
For more see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3701581.stm