Volume 38 - Article 61 | Pages 1885–1932

Migration responses of immigrants in Spain during the Great Recession

By Victoria Prieto, Joaquin Recaño, Doris Cristina Quintero-Lesmes

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Date received:31 Jan 2017
Date published:12 Jun 2018
Word count:7116
Keywords:citizenship, European Union, internal migration, Latin America, remigration, return migration, Spain
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Objective: We aim to describe the impact of the crisis on the intensity and demographic profile of internal migration and different forms of international emigration.

Methods: Using microdata from the Residential Variation Statistics for 2006‒2013, we estimate the rates of interregional migration and the different forms of international emigration, including return migration and remigration. We used multinomial regressions.

Results: Return migration and emigration to an unknown destination increased significantly with respect to interregional mobility at early and late stages of the crisis. In contrast, interregional migration was more likely than international emigration before the first stage. Regardless of birthplace, Spanish citizenship is an asset for mobility within Spain and the EU for all foreign-born individuals, and for emigration to non-EU countries for Cubans. Finally, emigration to an unknown destination resembles return migration in its composition by sex, age, and origin.

Contribution: First, we discuss the chronology of migration responses, while showing that the prevalence of each varies according to citizenship status and the stages of the economic downturn. Second, it notes the similarities between emigration to an unknown destination and return migration captured by the Spanish Residential Variation Statistics, supporting the argument that the former is a kind of return adopted by immigrants without Spanish citizenship. Third, although Spain is one of the European countries with a significant share of foreign-born populations and also one of the few countries with statistics to examine both internal migration and international emigration, this paper constitutes the first attempt to do so.

Author's Affiliation

Victoria Prieto - Universidad de la República, Uruguay [Email]
Joaquin Recaño - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain [Email]
Doris Cristina Quintero-Lesmes - Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia (FCV), Colombia [Email]

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