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Migration Towards and from Europe

We first analyse general trends in migration towards Europe, based on new estimates of global migration flows by Abel and Sander (2014). Their figures are based on stock statistics published by the United Nations. Note, however, that using stock data might be misleading for measuring flows. Furthermore, although the tables below represent the best estimates available, they are far from complete, as they are based on national statistics and thus reflect different legislation and definitions. This causes, for example, difficulties in comparability between countries as well as over time. The presented figures should thus be seen as indicative of larger patterns. The circular plots present migration flows from different world regions towards Europe and vice versa (Fig. 3.1) for four five-year periods between 1990 and 2010. Broader lines indicate more sizeable migration flows, while the arrow indicates the direction of the flow. As can be observed, migration from former Soviet Union countries to Europe gained momentum after the fall of the Berlin Wall but gradually decreased thereafter. Migration from Africa to Europe increased, especially in the mid-1990s. Furthermore, migration from East, South, and South-East Asia and from Latin America significantly rose, particularly after the start of the twenty-first century. Finally, migration from North America, Oceania, and West Asia remained relatively stable. Additional Eurostat data (not in the plots) show that between 2009 and 2012, the influx of non-EU migrants into the EU decreased slightly, from 1.4 million in 2009 to 1.2 million in 2012 (Eurostat 2014a).

In terms of the stock, 4 % of the total EU population in 2013 was a non-EU national, accounting for about 6 % of the EU's total working age population (Eurostat 2014a). Non-EU nationals were evenly split between men and women (ibid.). Note, however, that these data by nationality do not include all foreign-origin European residents (meaning those born abroad or having a foreign-born parent), as they cover only those who did not hold the nationality of the country they resided in. We further deconstruct these general trends below with a main focus on the last decade.

Looking at the top-15 countries of origin of newly arrived immigrants in 2009 and 2012, we find large numbers of migrants from India and China, followed by Morocco and Pakistan (Table 3.3). Based on figures from 2008, the majority of Indian and Pakistani migrants seems to have headed to the UK. Most Chinese migrants seem to have gone to Spain (Eurostat 2011), and Moroccan migrants were mainly attracted to Italy and Spain.

In addition to the data on newly arriving immigrants (flow statistics), it is also relevant to know the main countries of origin of non-European migrants residing in the EU (stock statistics). When considering the top-10 countries of origin of non-EU

Fig. 3.1 Circular plots of migration flows towards and from Europe, per 5 year period between 1990 and 2010 (Source: global-migration.info)

nationals residing in the EU (Table 3.4), it can be noted that the largest residing populations are from countries where Europe recruited labour in the post-war period (Morocco and Turkey), as well as from former colonies (India and Pakistan), and countries near the EU's eastern border (Albania, Russia, and Serbia). The large Chinese diaspora is also prominent as well as the—mostly highly-skilled and lifestyle (Castles et al. 2014)—migrants from the USA.

Until the 1990s, the vast majority of migrants could conveniently be classified under the categories “family reunification”, “labour migration”, and “asylum”. Since the 1990s, however, migration motives have become increasingly diversified, including a growing number of young people migrating to attend higher education. According to Eurostat (2014a), in 2012, 32 % of migrants received a residence per-

Table 3.3 Top-15 countries of origin of newly arrived non-EU migrants in the EU, 2009 and 2012

2009

2012

Country of origin

Number of migrants

Country of origin

Number of migrants

1.

India

92,575

China (incl. Hong Kong)

87,889

2.

Morocco

78,729

India

64,416

3.

China (incl. Hong Kong)

65,367

Morocco

53,121

4.

Ukraine

47,747

Pakistan

43,108

5.

Pakistan

35,969

United States

38,587

6.

United States

32,072

Russia

28,807

7.

Philippines

29,800

Ukraine

26,068

8.

Albania

28,153

Nigeria

21,130

9.

Bangladesh

25,611

Australia

19,331

10.

Peru

24,740

Brazil

18,307

11.

Moldova

24,222

Albania

16,775

12.

Brazil

24,204

Philippines

16,748

13.

Colombia

23,274

Turkey

16,198

14.

Nigeria

21,657

Bangladesh

13,880

15.

Russia

21,057

Afghanistan

13,060

Source: Eurostat (2014a)

Note: Numbers refer to non-EU nationals whose previous place of residence was in a non-EU country and who had established their residence in a EU member state in the respective year

Table 3.4 Top-10 countries of nationality of non-EU migrants residing in the European Union, 2012

Source: Eurostat (2014a)

Note: Numbers refer to non-EU nationals whose previous place of residence was in a non-EU country and who had established their residence in a EU member state for a period of at least 12 months

mit for family reasons, 23 % for work, 22 % for education, and 23 % for other reasons including asylum. Moreover, it should be noted that these categories report only the main migration motive as captured in the official statistics. In practice, these categories reflect migration motives as accepted in admission labels. Both may shift in the course of time. International students, for example, might become labour migrants upon graduation, and subsequently seek family reunification.

Lastly, migration is often not limited to moving from Country A to Country B but may involve several successive destinations. Considering intra-EU mobility of third-country nationals, an upward trend is observed between 2007 and 2011. This trend is most prominent in Germany, where the number of third-country nationals arriving from European Economic Area countries more than tripled, from 3784 in 2007 to 11,532 in 2011 (EMN 2013). A similar rise is also observed in the UK, where numbers increased from 1000 to 3000 (ibid.). Increases seem to be more modest in other EU countries, such as Austria (33.6 %), Finland (17.1 %), the Netherlands (53.7 %), and Sweden (30.2 %) (ibid.). However, whereas these percentages are high, absolute numbers are generally low. Compared with European citizens, intra-EU moves of third-country nationals are found to form only a small share of total intra-EU mobility between 2007 and 2011. The share of non-EU nationals in these movements barely surpasses 4 % in the countries for which statistics are available: 1.8 % in Germany, 3.6 % in Austria, 3.7 % in Finland, 2.3 % in the Netherlands, and 1.2 % in the UK (ibid.). Third-country nationals, moreover, move to geographically close countries, for example, from Germany and Italy to Austria, from Estonia and Sweden to Finland, from the Czech Republic and Germany to Poland, from Austria and the Czech Republic to Slovakia, and from Denmark and Germany to Sweden (ibid.). In sum, although it is often assumed that linear migration trajectories between two countries are less common now (see, e.g., Pieke et al. 2004), non-EU migrants do not seem to move frequently within the EU. This might be due to the legal restrictions often imposed on this group of migrants, or it could be more related to factors such as language similarities between bordering countries (De Valk and Díez Medrano 2014).

 
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