Does rural outflow of labour contribute to inflow of immigrants?

Amir Amiri, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Nasser Mirzahosseini, Ferdowsi University

In this paper, we focus on an internal site (Bouinzahra township and Khiaraj village which are located in the province of Qazvin in Iran) as one of the origins of internal outflows and as an attractive region for low-skilled immigrants. Drawing on the quantitative and qualitative data, the study aimed to trace the migration flows across this site over the past four decades and we argue that the processes of rural out migration in long-term can cause immigrants inflow in the opposite direction to the rural area. Demographically speaking the findings demonstrate that the population under study faces significant demographic changes. Since the majority of rural migrants are male, young, and better educated, the remaining population has concentrated in women and the elderly; to extent that according to the last census (2006), the sex ratio is about 92 males per 100 females and even some primary and secondary schools have closed due to the population decline of this village. A major finding is that while the predominant reasons of the outflow from rural areas are declared as unemployment or the search for better jobs and the desire to improve the conditions of life, on the other side an interesting phenomenon has appeared and surprisingly this site became attractive to immigrants not for the relative prosperity of the region but to fill employment openings. In other word, the gap left by rural workers moving out is filled by workers not from other parts of the country but from foreign immigrants. In conclusion, we argue that where there are evidences of the contribution and the linkage of the rural outflow of labour to inflow of immigrants, there is a potential for creating new category of study of internal and international migration, both at the theoretical and the empirical level.

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Presented in Session 76: Linkages between internal and international migration

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