The Current Return Migration of the European Youth

Saturday, 21 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Pablo PUMARES, University of Almeria, Spain
Andrea BLANC MOLINA, University of Almeria, Spain
Jorge ORDOÑEZ CARRASCO, University of Almeria, Spain
Juan FERNANDEZ-PRADOS, Universidad de Almería, Spain
Rusell King (2012) captures two dimensions of which are particularly useful to understand the international youth mobility. First, there is a temporal classification, which includes permanent, temporary and circulation migration, with the last being subdivided into seasonal and shuttle migration. The second dimension concerns the sequencing of migration and recognises the following types: repeat migration, chain migration, onward or serial migration and transnationalism.

Both the temporality and the sequencing of migration influence how youth mobility mediates the transition from education or unemployment to employment, as well as the broader life-course transition from youth to independent adulthood. The decision to return is particularly important. There is a coherent human capital explanation of why migrants may return, drawing on the relative weights attached to earnings related to acquired skills, and costs of living, in different places. Beyond these economic considerations, return migration is also informed by concerns about security, the education of children, health, cultural detachment and social inclusion, and migrants’ feelings of homesickness or alienation. Moreover, return may not be the end of the migration sequence but a precursor of circular, serial or onward migration. Not least, this is because previous migration experience tends to have enhanced the willingness to engage in future migration, based on the acquisition of confidence, tacit knowledge and resources such as networks.

We present a exploratory results about the reasons and motivations of return migration from quantitative indicators that explore the individual, socio-demographic, labor and economic dimensions of young people in Europe (16-35 years old) were captured in the YMOBILITY online survey. In total, the GfK survey recorded 29,679 valid responses in nine European countries, in October and November 2015.