How Migration Really Works

How Migration Really Works

A Factful Guide to the Most Divisive Issue in Politics


Authoritative and myth-busting, this is the one book you need to read to understand why we’ve been wrong about migration

'An important book that will force Left and Right alike to reconsider old assumptions' The Telegraph

'This book should be falling out of briefcases all over Westminster' Tortoise Media

'Careful, balanced and convincing . . . challenges much of what we think is obvious about migration' Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules - For Now


Global migration is not at an all-time high.

Climate change will not lead to mass migration.

Immigration mainly benefits the wealthy, not workers.

Border restrictions have paradoxically produced more migration.

These statements might sound counter-intuitive or just outright wrong - but the facts behind the headlines reveal a completely different story to the ones we're told about migration. In this ground-breaking and revelatory book, based on more than three decades of research, leading expert Professor Hein de Haas explodes myths espoused by both left and right that politicians, interest groups and media regularly spread about migration.

Comparing trends and perspectives from Western 'destination countries' (UK, US and Europe) as well as 'origin countries' in Asia, Africa and Latin America, de Haas equips readers with essential knowledge on migration based on the best evidence and data, showing migration not as a problem to be solved, nor as a solution to a problem, but as it really is.

Above all, How Migration Really Works offers a new vision of migration based on facts rather than fears, and a paradigm-altering understanding of this perennially important subject.


  • A careful, balanced, and convincing take on one of the most divisive issues of our age. Backed by masses of data, Hein de Haas challenges much of what we think is obvious about migration, systematically busting myths and exposing propaganda from all across the political spectrum
    Ian Morris, author of Why The West Rules – For Now

About the author

Hein de Haas

Hein de Haas is Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Professor of Migration and Development at the University of Maastricht. He formerly taught at the University of Oxford, where he co-founded and co-directed the International Migration Institute (IMI). One of the world's top migration scholars, he continues to direct IMI from its current home at UvA. He is lead author of The Age of Migration, a seminal textbook in the field of migration studies. He lives in Amsterdam.
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