The Internal Migration of Immigrants: Differences between One-Time and Multiple Movers in Spain


  • Javier Silvestre,

    Corresponding author
    1. Facultad de Economia y Empresa, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
    • Correspondence to: Javier Silvestre, Facultad de Economia y Empresa, Universidad de Zaragoza, c/ Gran Via 2, Zaragoza, Spain.


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  • David S. Reher

    1. Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología (Departamento de Sociología II), Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
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Research on the mobility and residential patterns of immigrants within receiving countries is abundant. The selective nature of movers and the location of immigrants are issues that have received special attention. Most studies are premised on the supposition that immigrants move only once. However, for a number of immigrants, internal migration is a dynamic process in which more than one movement is involved. This article extends the literature by disaggregating immigrants according to their number of internal migrations. We use data from a new and rich retrospective survey to examine the determinants of migration trajectories and the effects of the location choices of immigrants. We elaborate a set of indicators to assess the importance of the spatial assimilation theory and other main theoretical frameworks. This article concentrates on Spain, a recent main migratory destination in Europe and worldwide. Results reveal the existence of significant differences between one-time and multiple movers. The selective nature of multiple movers is explained in part by the spatial assimilation paradigm. Further results show that both one-time and multiple movers tend to reside outside ethnic concentrations as a result of their mobility experience within Spain. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.