Covid-19 insecurities and migration aspirations

Miranda Simon, Cassilde Schwartz, David Hudson

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Using an original survey, this paper examines how pandemic-driven insecurities have affected aspirations to migrate internationally among youth in The Gambia. We find that individuals perceive wide inequalities between their government’s performance and the speed of Covid-19 recovery abroad. However, superior recovery abroad does not have significant effects on aspirations to migrate. Individual and local sources of security are more important: Individuals who were able to maintain their jobs throughout the pandemic are less likely to aspire to move abroad. The insecurity of Covid-19 job loss may be compensated by confidence in one’s government’s ability to tackle the pandemic. This suggests that, in the context of an event that has upended people’s lives, would-be migrants who managed to maintain a source of stability may seek comfort in familiar contexts; even if they appear worse than alternatives abroad.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-326
JournalInternational Interactions
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jan 2022


  • Africa
  • International migration
  • development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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