Selectivity of the recent return migration to Poland

Marta Anacka, University of Warsaw
Agnieszka Fihel, University of Warsaw

In the wake of the 2004 EU enlargement Poland witnessed an exceptionally large outflow of its nationals. However, as noticed first by Ravenstein, each migration is accompanied by a compensating counter current consisting of persons who, for various reasons, decided to move back to the place of their own or their ancestors’ origin. According to our estimates based on the Polish Labour Force Survey, the return migration to Poland started to intensify in 2007. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we discuss possible estimates of comings back from various destination countries. Second, with the use of statistical indexes and an econometric model based on the LFS data we analyze the selectivity of returnees with regard to the main socio-demographic characteristics. We compare the obtained results with the previous studies on selectivity of the out-migration from Poland (Grabowska-Lusińska, Okólski 2009) and of return migration in the early 2000s (Fihel, Górny, Matejko 2006). Our analysis proves a strong selectivity of return migration: it is more likely for middle aged persons and migrants with vocational level of education. Geographical selectivity showed that the probability of coming back is higher in the case of persons staying in Germany than in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. This result contradicts an intuitive presumption that returns should take place first from the countries seriously stricken by the 2007 financial crisis. Surprisingly, originating in rural area in Poland determines the propensity to return to the largest extent and we discuss possible explanations of this result.

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Presented in Session 18: Return migration