JDR Vol.14 No.9 pp. 1262-1266
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2019.p1262


Migration, Transition, and Livelihoods: A Comparative Analysis of Marshallese Pre- and Post-Migration to the United States

Shanna N. McClain*,†, Jennifer Seru**, and Hermon Lajar**

*Environmental Law Institute
1730 M Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036, USA

Corresponding author

**College of the Marshall Islands, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands

May 28, 2019
October 10, 2019
December 1, 2019
Arkansas, livelihoods, Marshall Islands, migration with dignity, Springdale

With growing numbers of Marshallese immigrating to the United States, increasing attention is given to the enabling factors that support migration both pre-departure and post-arrival. This article provides an analysis of structured interviews and surveys between College of the Marshall Islands students living in Majuro in comparison to first generation Marshallese living in Springdale, Arkansas. The analysis sought to understand the intent of Marshallese students to move to the United States, their reasons for emigrating, and their expectations regarding life outside of the Marshall Islands in contrast to the current lives and livelihoods of Marshallese living in Arkansas. This article identifies the disparities between expectations, opportunities, and information exchange and provides options for improving the immigration and accommodation of Marshallese into the United States.

Cite this article as:
S. McClain, J. Seru, and H. Lajar, “Migration, Transition, and Livelihoods: A Comparative Analysis of Marshallese Pre- and Post-Migration to the United States,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14 No.9, pp. 1262-1266, 2019.
Data files:
  1. [1] United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), “Climate change and migration issues in the Pacific,” United Nations, 2014.
  2. [2] United States Geological Survey (USGS), “One meter topobathymetric digital elevation model for Majuro atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands,” 2017, [accessed May 30, 2019]
  3. [3] Public Broadcasting System (PBS), “Marshall Islands: A third of the nation has left for the U.S.,” 2018, [accessed May 30, 2019]
  4. [4] L. Hantrain, “Comparative Research Methods,” Social Research Update, Issue 13, 1995, [accessed May 30, 2019]
  5. [5] E. L. Dey, “Working with low survey response rates: The efficacy of weighting adjustments,” Research in Higher Education, Vol.38, No.2, pp. 215-227, 1997.
  6. [6] M. S. Lewis-Beck, A. Bryman, and T. F. Liao, “Snowball Sampling,” Sage Research Methods: Encyclopedia, 2011.
  7. [7] R. Capps, K. McCabe, M. Fix, and Y. Huang, “A profile of immigrants in Arkansas: Changing workforce and family demographics,” Vol.1, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and Migration Policy Institute, 2013.
  8. [8] C. Biddle, “Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice,” The Objective Standard, Vol.7, No.1, pp. 1-14, 2012.
  9. [9] Ministry of Education (MOE), Marshall Islands, “The Republic of the Marshall Islands education for all mid- decade assessment, Ministry of Education, 2015, [accessed May 30, 2019]
  10. [10] S. N. McClain, C. Bruch, M. Nakayama, and M. Laelan, “Migration with Dignity: A Case Study on the Livelihood Transition of Marshallese to Springdale, Arkansas,” J. of Int. Migration and Integration, pp. 1-13, 2019.
  11. [11] United Nations General Assembly (UN GA), “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration,” A/RES/73/195, 2019, [accessed May 30, 2019]
  12. [12] Economic Policy, Planning, and Statistics Office (EPPSO), “Republic of the Marshall Islands National Strategic Plan 2015-2017,” 2014.
  13. [13] A. Portes and M. Zhou, “The New Second Generation: Segmented Assimilation and its Variants,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol.530, No.1, pp. 74-96, 1993.
  14. [14] R. G. Rumbaut, “Assimilation of Immigrants,” Int. Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition, Vol.2, pp. 81-87, Elsevier, 2015.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on May. 10, 2024