How Have Economic Phases Affected International Migration Flows in the Five Largest Spanish Metropolises? A Focus on the ‘Post-Crisis’ Period

Jenniffer Thiers , Universitat de Barcelona
Fernando Gil-Alonso, Universitat de Barcelona
Cristina López Villanueva, Universitat de Barcelona

The paper aims to analyse how the different economic phases that Spain has undergone in the first two decades of the 21st century –expansion (until 2007), recession (2008-2013), and recovery or ‘post-crisis’ (from 2014 onwards)– have influenced foreign-born population stocks and international migratory flows in the five largest metropolitan areas in Spain: Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Seville and Valencia. Using Padrón Continuo (municipal register) and Estadística de Variaciones Residenciales (residential variation statistics) as data sources, both native and immigrant –born abroad– stocks and flows are analysed. We particularly study differences between a) diverse groups of foreigners –by continental origin–, also comparing them to natives; and b) differences in settlement patterns between urban cores and peripheries. Previous results (until 2014) have shown that international flows switched direction in the crisis years: foreign-born immigrants moving from abroad to the five urban areas during the economic expansion phase, inverted the direction of their flows in the economic crisis years, migrating abroad or dispersing throughout Spain in search of jobs. Consequently, their stocks reduced during some years. Now, we will focus on the so-call post-crisis period. Preliminary results show that, due to the incipient economic recovery, the five urban areas are attracting foreign-born immigrants again, so their foreign-born population stocks are increasing in both cores and peripheries. A specific continental origin, Latin-American-born population, that presented the highest incoming and exit flows during, respectively, expansion and recession phases, currently seems to recover its role as the main immigration group.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy