Trends, Patterns and Control
Edited by Heinz Fassmann, Max Haller and David Lane
Chapter 5: The Wrong Portuguese? Youth and Geographical Mobility Intentions in Portugal
David Cairns RESEARCH CONTEXT 5.1 In respect to the research context of this chapter, while historically a ‘migration country,’ in recent years Portugal has become more a receiving than a sending society. In parallel, there has been a concentration of research attention within Portugal upon seeking to explore the experiences of these recent arrivals, in particular from Lusophone Africa and South America, rather than attempting to appreciate the migration situations of the broader youth population in Portugal. While there is considerable value in much of this work, we are left with something of a deficit in respect to studying Portuguese migrants as opposed to immigrants in Portugal. As such, we presently know more about young migrants from Cape Verde, Angola or Brazil than we do about migrants or potential migrants from Lisbon or Porto.1 There are, however, indications that present levels of youth migration from Portugal are at an extremely low level. Despite the occasional small scale media panic regarding a potential youth exodus from Portugal, demographic analysis reveals that recent overall net migration from Portugal is at a lower level that the European average (Huber 2004, 620). Likewise, Eurobarometer statistics (2001) indicate that a very small number of people in Portugal, perhaps as few as 0.02 per cent of the population, have intentions to be trans-nationally mobile in the future (Hadler 2006, 124). Other recent research at a comparative European level and incorporating a qualitative dimension has also revealed that Portuguese youth are among the least likely to...
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