Emigration, though capable of easing population and employment problems, has on occasion resulted in the reduction of needed manpower. This is particularly important in the developing countries, especially as it reduces already scarce supplies of highly trained personnel. Furthermore, emigration has sometimes resulted in markedly distorted sex and age structures.
Immigrant families frequently enter the socio-economic ladder at the bottom and tend to stay there longer than others. The process of discarding dimensions of their old culture and acquiring parts of a new one is slow and complex. It is psychologically difficult because personal identity and social orientation are tied to culture. They face issues of language, social customs and mores, economics, nutrition, housing, and government regulations. They are often discriminated against in housing and employment. They tend to be economically vulnerable, not to understand the society they are living in so they are taken advantage of and commit social errors. In education, their adopted society may place a different value on education and create stress. If a society expects high academic achievement and the immigrant has working as a higher value than education, it may take two or more generations for the family to adapt. In housing, immigrants arrive without a home and may find themselves needing an address before they can be employed and a job to rent accommodation. In employment, immigrants usually start in the lowest paying jobs, have difficulty with the language, may face legal restrictions in employment. They tend to be poor and live in conditions of poor housing, poor nutrition, ill health, mental difficulties and in an environment of high crime and physical danger. All of which discourages good social functioning. The considerable difference in role expectations within families and between families and the larger society may also cause stress. A family with strong extended family ties may be cut off from the normal social support and assistance when it migrates. A family that has been largely self-sufficient may find itself on welfare in its new society and the members experience themselves as social failures. Social services, educational institutions and other agencies with which migrants have contact may expect behaviour quite at odds with those of the migrant. For example, a migrant family from a strongly matriarchal culture moving to a patriarchal culture may find the head of the household ignored by members of the new society.