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Migration Case Studies: Mediterranean

Updated on January 11, 2013
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U.K migration to Spain

Over the last twenty years pensioners increasingly migrate to the Mediterranean especially Spain, dubbed 'Sun Seekers'.

There are many reasons this has increased including:

  • Spain joining the E.U in 1986, meaning that there is now an open border policy.
  • Low cost airlines such as easy-jet make access not only cheaper but easier.
  • Increased connectivity, the internet allows easy communication with friends and family through sites like Facebook and Skype.

But why migrate in the first place?


There are a variety of push and pull factors fuelling the migration to Spain.
Push Factors are reasons to leave a place, the negatives including the English weather, the idea the U.K has 'gone to the dogs' and the lifestyle.
Pull Factors are reasons to go to a place, the positives these include the better weather, cheaper living costs, better lifestyle with a 'holiday atmosphere' and expatiate communities already set up there.

Obviously migrating is not as simple as this Lee's Push - Pull migration Model gives a better idea of the process of migration.

What are the impacts on the source country? (U.K)

Costs:

  • Family breakup, loss of grandparents and potential childminders.
  • Loss of highly experienced workforce.
  • The grey pound is spend overseas.

Benefits:

  • Care expenses are paid for by the host country.
  • Relives pressure on housing, no need to build on greenfield sites.
  • Emigration partly balanced immigration reducing net migration rates.

Impacts on host country (Spain)

Costs:

  • Migrant 'ghettos' are created with little social and cultural integration in San Fulgencio the migrants set up their own political party and won 21% of the vote and three local council seats. This can create social tensions with the 'native population'.
  • House prices are driven up by 'sun seekers' to high for resident population.
  • Health care costs
  • Infrastructure such as water supply can become strained.

Benefits:

  • Spending of the 'grey pound' can rejuvenate local economy.
  • Jobs are created in construction, retail and services.
  • Areas that previously had no value become valuable building sites.

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