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Economic Activities of African Migrants in Major EU Countries: New Approaches

A. V. Kuznetsov ()

Outlines of global transformations: politics, economics, law, 2020

Abstract: The growing interest in migration issues in the EU has not affected the analysis of African migrants. The focus is on social and political issues, while the economic issues studied are primarily related to the assessment of the reasons for the arrival of Africans in the EU, the trajectory of their movement, as well as the scale of remittances to their homeland and the conditions for their return back to Africa. The article focuses on the main features of African migrants’ economic activity in the EU. Instead of the traditional consideration of only one or several diasporas in a single country or a generalized analysis of the entire EU, we compare the specifics of immigrants from different African countries in the 4 largest EU member states (including the UK, which left the integration project in 2020). Our article begins with a review of studies that contain information on the economic activities of migrants from African countries. Then, based on data from Eurostat and national statistics from Germany, France, Italy and the UK, the role of people from Africa in these countries population is shown. The reasons for the differences between these four countries in the dynamics and structure of immigration from Africa are explained. Statistics of refugees, naturalized persons over the past 10 years, foreign citizens and residents with migration past are considered. France is the leader in the number of migrants, mainly due to people from French-speaking countries of North and West Africa. Italy stands out because it is targeted by many illegal migrant routes due to its geographical proximity to this region. The UK has become a target mainly for residents of former British colonies who are quite successful in naturalization in the United Kingdom (therefore, there are as many Africans without local passports in the UK as in Germany – 0.6 million). Further, it is shown that the key factor for taking a particular economic position in society is the status of migrants, their education also plays an important role (although Africans often work in places where a lower level of qualification is required than they have), as well as language barriers. There are big gender differences. At the end of the article we make conclusions about the problems of African migrants’ adaptation, although the EU countries cannot refuse to employ migrants in unattractive jobs in any case.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.23932/2542-0240-2020-13-1-1

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