Migration in Europe

Author/editor: Raymer, J
Published in (Monograph or Journal): International Handbooks of Population: International Handbook of Migration and Population Distribution, Springer, Dordrecht.
Year published: 2016
Volume no.: 6
Page no.: p371-388


Europe is a diverse and unique area of the world. Arguably, nowhere else is there such a varied set of populations and migration patterns. Countries in Eastern Europe are facing population decline from very low and sustained fertility levels and net emigration, while many populations in Western Europe are growing because of its attractiveness and opportunities to migrants. Europe also contains the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) with 31 member countries having the right of free movement and residence within the system. Some 3–6 million persons each year are estimated to migrate to these countries from other member countries and from across the world. The aims of this chapter are to provide a sense of the diversity and importance of migration to and within Europe. After presenting a general overview of the context in which the migration patterns have evolved, harmonised estimates of migration flows obtained from the recently completed Integrated Modelling of European Migration (IMEM) project are presented for the EU and EFTA countries from 2002 to 2008. The chapter ends with a discussion of the future prospects of migration for this region of the world.

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