Moving or staying put? Movement and settlement of international migrants in Spain before and during the economic recession

Juan Galeano, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Albert Sabater, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Andreu Domingo, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Introduction: During the 2000s Spain became the European country with the largest net absolute migration in the EU, lagging only behind the USA worldwide. Although the replication of sequences from clustering to dispersal by immigrant groups became apparent in Spain during the booming years, the current recession has significantly slowed down internal migration of international migrants thus sparking concern about the formation of enclaves and possible consequences for integration. Aim: The paper makes two contributions not investigated to date. First, it examines internal migration of international migrants before and during the economic recession. Second, it analyses whether or not the formation of immigrant enclaves has accelerated during the economic crisis. Method: First, we combine segregation measures with analysis of internal migration to investigate whether groups are moving towards their own concentrations. Second, we examine the formation of ethnic enclaves by implementing an approach to identify immigrant residential areas according to the degree of encapsulation or group mixing. Data: The paper uses migration flows and population data between 2005 and 2010 derived from Municipal Registers (and released annually by the National Statistics Institute) to analyze movement and settlement of international migrants. Results: The preliminary findings allow us to confirm that whilst some immigrant groups still replicate the assimilation path of outward spatial movement, some immigrant groups have become much more prone to huddle together in spatial enclaves since the beginning of the recession. Implications: The emergence of new settlement patterns of international migrants as a result of the economic recession has been perceived as an expression of severe social exclusion with implications for the development of social policy.

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Presented in Poster Session 1