Migration aspirations in Senegal: Who wants to leave and why does it matter?

pub_epb_141x200International migration from Senegal is long-standing. Even so, the social, economic and political impacts of migration and transnationalism have intensified in recent decades. In addition to those who actually leave, millions of others have a wish to do so. Understanding migration aspirations is important for two reasons. First, they are an essential part of migration dynamics. Even if most of the people who would like to migrate to another country never do so—because of restrictive policies or insufficient resources, for in-stance—large-scale migration pressure has consequences. It makes migration management more challenging, and it affects the migration experience for those who have the opportunity to go. The second reasons why migration aspirations are important is that they could affect resource allocation more broadly. It is a problem for society if families devote scarce resources to unsuccessful migration attempts. Similarly, it is a problem if willingness to invest locally is dampened by faint hopes of being able to emigrate. This policy brief presents results from a survey on migration aspirations, conducted among 2,000 people from 4 different areas of Senegal as part of the project ‘Imagining Europe from the Outside (EUMAGINE)’.

Carling, Jørgen, Fall, Papa Demba, Hernández-Carretero, María, Sarr, Mame Yacine and Wu, Jennifer (2013) Migration aspirations in Senegal: Who wants to leave and why does it matter? European Policy Brief. Brussels: European Commission.

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