International Migration and the Demographic Transition: A Two-Way Interaction

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Abstract

The paper explores the relationship between the demographic transition and international migration, that is, between population dynamics and direct connectivity between peoples. The first part examines how ideas conveyed by migrants to non-migrants of their community of origin are susceptible to impact on practices that lead to the reduction of birth rates in source countries of migration and concludes that international migration may be one of the mechanisms through which demographic transition is disseminated. The second part shows that declining birth rates in origin countries generate a new profile of the migrant and suggests that future migrants will typically leave no spouses or children in the home country and therefore their objective will no longer be to improve the family’s standing at home for the mere reason that there is no longer such a family, but to increase opportunities for themselves. Migration policies of origin countries on remittances as well as those of destination countries on family reunification will have to be reconsidered.

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