Immigrant population in a new host-region: differences and similarities across Southern European countries

Alexandra Tragaki, Harokopion University of Athens
Antonios Rovolis, Harokopion University of Athens

Since the nineties, Southern Europe has changed from being an area of migratory origin to a destination region for migrants. This, in itself, has been the result of fundamental political and economic reforms across Eastern Europe, as well as of demographic, economic and social developments within Southern European countries. A number of common characteristics have been put forward to explain the unexpected and simultaneous transformation of this part of Europe into an appealing destination for new migratory flows. Those common explanatory factors of why immigrants are attracted by countries in Southern Europe have led to the development of the so-called “Southern European model of migration”. Moreover, and besides the common features, the examination of immigrants’ personal characteristics across Greece, Italy and Spain reveals some interesting differences. This paper sheds light on who the immigrants are, what specific characteristics they have and how they are spatially distributed. The paper presents and analyses the foreign presence in three Southern European countries: Greece, Italy and Spain. The analysis is based on regional data at NUTS III level. It can generally be argued that during the last three decades, migratory flows into Southern Europe have been continuously increasing. Globalisation and differentiation of flows -involving persons from an increasing number of countries migrating for different reasons (i.e family reunification, temporary workers or students)- are common features applied to the Southern European case.

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Presented in Session 57: Spatial Differentials in Population Processes