Although internal migration has been rather overlooked, both in terms of its magnitude and importance, its ability to reflect socio-economic changes is providing useful insights on the evolution of the Romanian society over the last decades. Based on the analysis of census microdata over the past 4 censuses, some major shifts in the magnitude and patterns in internal migration reveal the fact that characteristics of internal migrants have not only mirrored, but also preceded the changes observed for the total population. Among the most important developments revealed by our analysis have been a slight decrease in migration incidence since 1992, an increase in migrants residing in rural areas, especially in the South region, and a higher incidence among women, perhaps as a counterweight for higher international migration rates among men. Internal migrants’ age profile shows that they are 11 years older than the total population, up from a gap of only 6 years in 1977. Although they tend to be relatively more educated, their advantage has been on a declining trend and, contrary to common perceptions, are less likely to be single. At the county level, data reveals diverging patterns triggered by post-communist development, among which deindustrialization of some countries and strong international migration. These findings help portray the socio-economic changes as revealed by the analysis of census data, and provide any additional feedback to the annual internal migration flow estimates, by assessing the stock of those who moved from their birthplace, and showing how net internal migration patterns have morphed over time, both reflecting and effecting demographic and socioeconomic evolutions of the Romanian society1.
- internal migration
- socio-economic change