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Migrants move to cities

Infographic | 30-05-2016
Migrants move to cities

Over the last few years, Europe has experienced a large influx of people. As a consequence of the geopolitical instability in the Middle East and Africa, immigration and refugee flows into Europe have increased, and this has had a significant impact on European countries and cities. People also migrate within the EU. For example, because of disparities in employment and income levels, inhabitants of central and eastern Member States have moved to those in the west (Espon, 2015; European Commission, 2014).

Migration, in general, and the current refugee flows into Europe, in particular, have clear territorial and urban dimensions. The main cause of the EU’s population growth is net immigration. Between 2001 and 2011, the EU’s total population (EU-28) increased by 3.8%, with net immigration accounting for 3% of this. Natural population change was only 0.7% (European Commission, 2014).

Cities can benefit from newcomers; for instance, because they bring new skills and knowledge. However, a large influx of people can also pose major challenges with respect to housing and public services. Not every city is affected in the same way. Even within cities, challenges may differ between neighbourhoods. Especially so-called ‘arrival city’ neighbourhoods (Saunders, 2011) can suffer from an accumulation of social, economic, cultural and individual problems that impede the establishment of a local sense of community, of belonging. This can limit the opportunities for people to develop new talents and skills.

Source data

This infographic is based on data provided by Eurostat; ‘Population change - Demographic balance and crude rates at national level’ (version February 2016) and ‘Asylum and first time asylum applicants by citizenship, age and sex Monthly data’ (version March 2016).

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Unless stated otherwise, the Creative Commons (BY) licence applies to this infographic. For more information on this licence or the use of this infographic, please contact our graphics department (beeldredactie@pbl.nl).