Volume 43 - Article 45 | Pages 1335–1366  

Childhood determinants of internal youth migration in Senegal

By Catalina Herrera Almanza, David E. Sahn


Background: Internal migration, mostly composed of young adults and the poor, constitutes the largest flow of people in developing countries. Few studies document the patterns and determinants of internal youth migration in sub-Saharan Africa.

Objective: This paper analyzes the socioeconomic determinants of the decisions of young adults to internally migrate in Senegal. We focus on whether their decisions to migrate are influenced by individual characteristics, as well as the circumstances in the households and communities where they grew up, and whether these factors are differentiated by gender.

Methods: Using a unique migration household survey in Senegal, we estimate multinomial logit models to analyze the role of childhood socioeconomic determinants in decisions to later migrate to rural and urban areas.

Results: We find that young people undertake mostly rural-to-rural and urban-to-urban migrations, and more than half of them are temporary migrants. We also find that the determinants are heterogeneous by gender and destination. The higher the fathers’ education, the more (less) likely are their daughters to move to urban (rural) areas. Young individuals who spend their childhood in better-off households are more likely to move to urban areas. The presence of younger siblings during childhood increases the propensity of moving to rural areas. Access to primary schools from the childhood residence decreases the likelihood of migrating to urban areas for both men and women.

Contribution: We contribute to the sparse literature on internal youth migration in developing countries by highlighting the role of family- and community-level characteristics during childhood in predicting later migration.

Author's Affiliation

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

Migrating to a new country in late life: A review of the literature on international retirement migration
Volume 48 - Article 9    | Keywords: aging, internal migration, retirement, transnationalism

Educational selectivity of native and foreign-born internal migrants in Europe
Volume 47 - Article 34    | Keywords: educational selectivity, Europe, European Union Labour Force Survey, global cities, internal migration, native and foreign-born population

Internal migration and the de-standardization of the life course: A sequence analysis of reasons for migrating
Volume 46 - Article 12    | Keywords: Australia, Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA), internal migration, life course, sequence analysis

Short- to medium-run forecasting of mobility with dynamic linear models
Volume 45 - Article 28    | Keywords: COVID-19, dynamic linear model, internal migration, short- to medium-term forecast

Beyond the exodus of May–June 1940: Internal migration in France during the Second World War
Volume 45 - Article 18    | Keywords: internal migration, population, World War II