New emigration flows from Spain to Europe: the path of economic crisis and austerity policies

Enrique Ortega, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Andreu Domingo, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Albert Sabater, University of St Andrews

After a period of intensive economic growth and the immigration boom, Spain has been hit hard by the crisis. The impact has been particularly severe in the case of young nationals and immigrant workers, affecting migration trends and patterns. In line with this conjuncture, there has been a sharp decline in the inflows of foreigners followed by a progressive increase in return and re-migration. The deteriorating labor market situation, austerity measures and the lack of economic opportunities resulted in an increase in the outflows of Spanish nationals, both native-born and those foreign-born who acquired Spanish nationality, to other European countries, particularly the United Kingdom, France and Germany. At the same time, the so-called lifestyle migrants from northern and central Europe have also faced the recession, as shown by the decrease in inflows and the rise in departures from Spain. This study analyzes three concurrent migration patterns that characterize a new migratory phase, focusing on those flows with origin in Spain and destination in European countries: 1) Spanish emigration and neo-Hispanic migration; 2) Return of foreign nationals from northern and central European countries; and 3) Re-migration of foreign nationals. This paper adopts a path-creating path-dependence perspective to examine these new emigration flows through an analysis based on microdata from the Residential Variation Statistics of the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE).

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Presented in Session 98: Emigration and depopulation