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TRENDS IN POPULATION: MIGRATION AND GENDER ISSUES

Andrei V. Korobkov, Middle Tennessee State University
The Post-Dissolution Migration Flows in the Former Soviet Union: The New Trends

Migration Trends in the Post-Soviet Space: The Post Dissolution Dynamics

The Soviet dissolution was widely expected to be followed by large-scale politically motivated migration flows. In reality, following a short-term burst of motivated migration activity, visible is the contraction of the population territorial mobility in the region, the increasing importance of external emigration, and the growing role of socio-economic factors in defining the character and intensity of migration flows. The expansion of temporary labor migration is particularly visible. Another important feature of the current situation is the consistently increasing Russia 's influence: remaining the major recipient of migrants, it plays a role of supplier of labor migrants to the West and acts as a "bridge" for those attempting to reach Western Europe .

The paper considers the reasons for the shift from the ethnic and political to socio-economic factors of migration and discusses the major characteristics of new migration flows. The major issues under consideration include the durability of migration, the professional and demographic characteristics and the territorial orientation of migration flows. Also discussed is the governmental response to the new migration flows.

The dissolution of the USSR was followed by the expectation of large-scale migrations in the region with migration potential estimated at twenty-five million and the ethnic, demographic, and social characteristics of migration flows indicating the existence of grave political and socioeconomic imbalances and dislocations in the post-Soviet area. The real figures, while significant, were much smaller: In 1991-2000, Russia alone received more than eight million migrants from the post-Soviet states (with net migration of 4.3 million-compared to 1.5 million in 1981-1990).

In addition, following a short-term burst of politically-motivated migration activity, the current period is marked by the general contraction of the population territorial mobility in the region, the increasing importance of external emigration, and the growing role of the socio-economic factors in defining the character and intensity of the new migration flows. The expansion and substitution of temporary labor migration for the permanent politically motivated migration flows is particularly visible. Another important characteristic of the current situation is the disproportionate influence exercised by Russia on the formation of migration flows in the region. Russia remains the major recipient of migrants, increasingly plays a role of supplier of labor migrants to the West, and acts as a "bridge" for those attempting to reach Western Europe .

The proposed paper considers the reasons for the shift from the ethnic and political to the socio-economic factors of migrations and discusses the major characteristics of the newly-forming migration flows. The major issues under consideration include the durability of migration and the structural (professional and demographic) characteristics and the territorial orientation of the new migration flows. Special attention is given to the formation of labor migration flows; the policies of the countries of emigration and immigration towards the migrants; and their impact on those countries' labor markets and welfare mechanisms.

 

 

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