Foreign migrants move within Spain for employment reasons

May 07, 2010
Madrid and Barcelona have become the leading centres for redistribution of the foreign population over recent years. Credit: SINC

A team from the University of Cantabria (UC) has studied the contribution that internal migration by foreign people living in Spain made to the process of overall provincial convergence between 1996 and 2005. The main reasons for foreign migrants moving between regions were found to be primarily employment-related rather than to do with residential choice.

Between 1996 and 2005, the proportion of internal migrations in Spain made by foreigners grew from 3% to 26% of the total. By 2008, three out of every 10 changes in place of residence were being made by foreigners.

"Until the start of the 1980s, internal migrations were one of the major engines driving the process of provincial convergence in Spain. After this period, a change in migratory patterns saw this process slow down", María Hierro, lead author of the study and a researcher at the UC, tells SINC.

This new research study, which has been published in the journal Papers in Regional Science, shows that these internal migrations are primarily undertaken for work reasons rather than as a result of residential preference.

"Unless suitable policies are introduced to stimulate mobility, particularly from low-income provinces to high-income ones, internal cannot be expected to become an engine for convergence in Spain again", the expert explains.

35% of internal migrations are from Madrid and Barcelona

Another study carried out by María Hierro in collaboration with Adolfo Maza, published in Applied Geography, shows that Madrid and Barcelona have become the leading centres for redistribution of the foreign population over recent years.

More than 35% of all internal migrations by foreigners are made from these two cities. "They move to provinces bordering these cities (where housing prices are more affordable) and also to non-neighbouring provinces where per capita income is lower but where there is a higher demand for labour, particularly in the domestic and services sectors", Hierro explains.

Explore further: Interview blues—anxious, slow talkers often do not get the job

More information: María Hierro, Adolfo Maza. "Per capita income convergence and internal migration in Spain: Are foreign-born migrants playing an important role?", Papers in regional science 89 (1): 89-107, March 2010.

María Hierro, Adolfo Maza. "Foreign-born internal migrants: Are they playing a different role than natives on income convergence in Spain?" Applied Geography. Feb 2010.

Related Stories

Environmental exodus

Nov 26, 2007

Climate change is the largest environmental change expected this century. It is likely to intensify droughts, storms and floods, which will undoubtedly lead to environmental migrations and potential conflicts in the areas ...

The first map of colon cancer in Spain is published

Jan 14, 2010

There are stark geographical contrasts in the incidence of colon cancer worldwide. The new study analyses the causes of these disparities, starting with Spanish trends between 1951 and 2006 in terms of certain ...

Recommended for you

Accountancy stereotypes add up to stable profession

12 hours ago

The media is littered with celebrity trainers, bakers, nutritionists, even gardeners. But, one profession is always missing from the roster - the celebrity accountant. The reason is most likely due to the negative stereotypes ...

Volunteers not safe from workplace bullying

13 hours ago

Despite the charitable nature of volunteering, new research from Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University has found one in three volunteers can experience workplace bullying.

The problem with solitary confinement

13 hours ago

It's a practice that has been in the news since the Ashley Smith case first made headlines and, last week, the Ontario government announced it had launched a review of its solitary confinement policies.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.