What Drives Onward Mobility within Europe? The Case of Senegalese Migrations between France, Italy and Spain

By Sorana Toma, Eleonora Castagnone

Onward mobility – leaving the country of destination in order to move to a third country – is an under-researched phenomenon which challenges the idea that migration is a one-off event, leading to permanent settlement in the country of destination. Taking advantage of a recent multi-sited survey on migration between Senegal and France, Italy and Spain, this article examines the drivers of onward mobility within Europe. The biographic nature of the data enables us to adopt a life-course perspective and to analyse, in a discrete-time event history framework, the ways in which processes of economic, legal and social integration at destination shape subsequent mobility trajectories. Findings show that the low-skilled, the self-employed and the unemployed, as well as those lacking longer-term residence permits are the most likely to re-migrate. Furthermore, the presence of kin and friends in the country of settlement discourages remigration, whereas social ties in other European countries constitute one of the most important resources in triggering onward mobility within Europe.


  • international migration
  • onward mobility
  • migrant networks
  • Europe
  • Senegal
  • intra-European migration
  • stepwise migration
  • migration trajectories
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