Levels and Patterns of Internal Migration in Europe
Europe displays important variations in the level of internal migration, with a clear spatial gradient of high mobility in northern and western Europe but lower mobility in the south and east. However, cross-national variation in levels of internal migration remains poorly understood, because it is analysed almost exclusively using cross-sectional data and period measures. This paper seeks to advance understanding of cross-national variation in migration levels in 14 European countries by drawing on a recently proposed suite of migration cohort measures, coupled with internationally comparable retrospective residential histories. It shows that differences in migration levels are mainly attributable to variation in the extent of repeat movement, which is underpinned by the differences in mean ages at first and last move that together delineate the average length of migration careers. Cohort analysis provides a robust foundation for exploring the demographic mechanisms underpinning variation in migration levels across countries and over time.