- Net migration rate underline the current challenges associated with demographic shrinkages across Europe
- Apart from de-populating processes in Northern and Eastern Europe, there are on-going processes of centralisation around the capital cities
- Net migration rates, either positive or negative, are generally low in regions of Northern and Eastern Europe. The opposite situation can be observed in Western and Southern Europe
Observations for policy
Demographic and migratory developments pose challenges to the broad policy context in Europe. Many peripheral regions experience severe population losses. Net migration rates for 2001 and 2007 point at concentration tendencies with relative increase of population in more densely populated areas and national urban centres. Apart from the de-populating processes in Northern and Eastern Europe, there are on-going processes of centralisation around the capital cities. These net migration values underline other findings about the challenges of demographic shrinkage in parts of Europe.
Migration and related challenges for territorial development are regularly addressed in the European policy debate. The 2020 European Ageing Report of the European Commission shows that priority should be given to the demographic challenges with a new sense of urgency in light of the financial crisis. Also in the Territorial Agenda and the Europe 2020 strategy demographic issues are addressed.
Migration tends to accentuate existing attraction trends which imply considerable challenges for some European regions when it comes to issues such as ageing, reduced labour market participation of older workers and shrinking population.
The map shows net migration rates for the period 2001-2007. It reveals a prevailing trend for net out-migration from large parts of Eastern Europe These regions with negative net migration stretch from Scandinavia to the Baltic countries, including parts of Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. In addition, single out-migration regions can be found in North-Eastern France and Southern Italy.
Many metropolitan regions and tourist destinations experienced positive net migration during 2001-2007. This was the case of Madrid, Amsterdam or Prague. The same applies to ‘intermediate’ urbanised regions in Ireland or the UK. Popular seasonal destinations in the Mediterranean coastline also perform well due to the urbanisation patterns that attract workers and residents. The strongest economic core regions of Europe have a moderate attraction capacity apart from Paris, London, and Berlin.
A more articulate analysis shows that net migration rates, either positive or negative, are generally low in regions of Northern and Eastern Europe. The opposite situation can be observed in Western and Southern Europe. It should be mentioned however that the map is based on data prior the financial and economic crisis and that some migration trends might have changed since 2008.
Concepts and methods
Net migration describes the difference between immigration and emigration during a specific period of time. Net migration is negative when the number of emigrants exceeds the number of immigrants.