Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Research from Marie-Laurence Flahaux and Hein de Haas analyses the general trends of African migration

An article published in the news magazine of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, N-IUSSP, assesses the volume and geographical orientation of African emigration against unproven perceptions that African migration is massive and increasing, and mainly directed toward Europe.

Marie-Laurence Flahaux and Hein de Haas use the Global Bilateral Migration Database and flow data from the DEMIG project to study both the presence of emigrants abroad and the recent evolution of African migrants’ arrivals in several major countries in Europe, North America and Oceania.

Contradicting the popular notion of a ‘continent on the move’, the research demonstrates that African migration is relatively modest in scope and geographical reach; African migrants overwhelmingly migrate within Africa. While emigration from the poorest countries is predominantly directed towards neighbouring countries, the intensity of emigration out of Africa is increasing, particularly from countries with relatively higher levels of human and economic development.

Higher income, education and access to information all increase people’s capabilities and aspirations to migrate. The findings suggest this trend is likely to continue in the future. At least part of this emigration is likely to be directed at Europe, although this is typically dependent on labour opportunities and growth in this region. Restrictive policies aiming at reducing immigration in Europe are unlikely to be effective in countering these structural trends.

Read the full article

Similar stories

Working Paper: Immigration policy effects – A conceptual framework

Publication

Liv Bjerre provides a conceptual framework for the analysis of immigration policy effects by arguing that immigration policies have varying effects on different categories of immigrants whether they are regular immigrants, asylum seekers or irregular immigrants

Return Migration in Africa

Publication

IMI Researcher, Dr. Marie-Laurence Flahaux together with Dr. Bruno Shoumaker and Dr. Thierry Eggerickx edit a new issue of 'Space, Populations, Societies' which seeks to explore the understudied aspects of return migration in Africa

Working Paper: Hopes and fears of migrants’ contribution to political change, a Tunisian case study

Publication

Marieke van Houte explores complexities of political change in relation to mobility and immobility through a fascinating Tunisian case study that challenges conventional notions that transnational political engagements contribute to democratization

Exploring domestic & diasporic non-government responses to the Liberian Ebola Crisis

Publication

New article published in the academic journal, African Affairs by IMI Senior Research Officer Robtel Neajai Pailey

Legal invisibility was the best thing to happen to me

Media coverage Publication

Senior Research Officer Robtel Neajai Pailey shares her experience of living as an undocumented migrant in the US for 14 years in a remarkable piece for Al Jazeera

Call for papers for new journal Migration and Society

General Publication

The first issue of the journal focuses on Hospitality and hostility towards migrants: Global perspectives