Transits

material culture, migration and everyday life

Month: November 2018

Migration to Portugal: The touristification of Lisbon

It has been 10 years since the European Financial Crisis of 2008. In 2011, Portugal’s request for financial assistance through loans worth €78 billion from the EU and IMF came with directives of the Troika to implement austerity measures in order to see to the funds being returned. Under the right-wing government, these policies were quickly implemented, despite the crippling effect it would have on the population. This also included cutting spending on public services including healthcare. The dissatisfaction with such policies which had a crippling effect on the lives of Portuguese people was particularly seen through protests in Lisbon.

The repercussions of the crisis often focus on austerity measures implemented in the country, displacing many in search of jobs elsewhere within the EU and indeed afar. However, following the election of a left-wing, socialist government, the shift away from austerity has said to have brought about a drastic improvement in the economy. By 2017, Portugal had repaid its bailout loans. Rejecting austerity and investment in social enterprise supported the situation. However, it was also the blossoming of another industry that supported this change, namely tourism. In 2017, Portugal recorded receiving 12.7 million international tourists, a third of which was to Lisbon. Lisbon, in particular, has become a hub of attraction not only for leisure seekers, but also those looking for employment in the sector. The relatively low cost of living, compared to the remainder of Western Europe, is another point of attraction. The capital Lisbon continues to attract young people en masse who choose to stay for prolonged periods of time owing to the allure of the location. Simultaneous to this, young Portuguese people have been leaving the country in search of better-paid employment even before the crisis. This decline in the country’s population has resulted in the Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, calling for a push in immigration to the country, particularly skilled labour.

Despite the positive implications of tourism which, it would appear, results in migration to the country for long durations, these changes to come with some warnings. As people migrate and visit the city, it raises questions about the sustainability of such an industry, including whether the country has considered problems of over-tourism. Nevertheless, Portugal has somewhat emerged from its cocoon of crisis. It is yet to be seen whether tourism carries the country into a utopia or dystopic Brave New World.

Portuguese in Angola: what the statistics show*

Characterized by varied socio-professional, economic, cultural, etc. profiles, migratory flows to Angola increased from the 1990s onwards with the opening up of a market economy and with the Bicesse Agreements, whose measures facilitated the movement of migrants in Angolan territory. Similarly, the lack of border control mechanisms[1]in the face of illegal migration, the formation of migratory networks acting as an intermediary between individual actors or small groups and the structural forces of attraction, and the European and world crisis of recent years, were factors that not only supported but stimulated new migration flows to Angola.

From 2002 onwards, with the end of the civil war and, afterwards, with the global financial crisis of 2008 and the much talked about the crisis in Europe, these intensified and diversified in a wider context of globalized migratory flows. Currently, with the slowdown of the Angolan economy, in an environment (of financial and foreign exchange crisis) marked since mid-2014 by the fall in demand and lowering of oil prices and the lack of investment in other areas, with consequences in measures that have been taken to contain public spending, stalled investments, restrained access to the U.S. Dollar, devaluation of the Kwanza, difficulties in transferring money out of Angola, delays in salaries and payments to suppliers, etc., there is already talk of a possible decrease in migratory flows.

In the global context of the new Portuguese emigrants, Angola has emerged as one of the preferred destinations of many Portuguese who migrated outside the European Union, attracting tens of thousands of workers in recent years. Taking into account the average annual flows between 2008-2012 it is estimated that 10 to 12% went to Angola and Mozambique, 80 to 85% to Europe and 1% to Brazil (Pires, Pereira, Azevedo e Ribeiro 2014:37). 

Registrations in the Consulate General of Portugal in Luanda and Benguela, defined here over a period of 10 years, show that the numbers of 2008 to 2015 maintained a growth trend, from more than 72 thousand in 2008 to more than 134 thousand in 2015.

 

Consular registrations 2008 – 2017

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on data from Observatório da Emigração

Continuing to analyze the evolution of the emigration of the Portuguese to Angola, but now based on the number of visas issued by the Consulate General of Angola in Lisbon and Oporto, it is confirmed that the Portuguese continued to go even with the economic crisis that since 2014 has been installed in that country:

Portuguese inflows in Angola

Year N Growth rate
2013 4651 _
2014 5098 9,6%
2015 6715 31,7%
2016 3908 -41,8%
2017 2962 -24,2%

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on data from Observatório da Emigração

Contrary to some expectations, Portuguese emigration to Angola grew by around 32 % in 2015. However, it declined significantly from 2015 to 2016, close to 42% (- 2,807 entries) and 2016 to 2017 (…). The cumulative and prolonged effects of the crisis in Angola, directly influencing fewer inputs and more outputs, will help us to understand these data.

Studies are scarce, but the emigration of Portuguese to Angola has been accentuated and socio-economic, cultural, etc. profiles diversified. Apart from investors and entrepreneurs, there are still many expatriate Portuguese workers in Angola, in the context of very varied work proposals and migration projects (looking for new or better opportunities, unemployment …). We are interested in exploring and discussing them in the extension of the material dimensions of contemporary movements.

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* Consular records on Portuguese emigration to Angola should be read with caution. Not only is registration not mandatory, as its updating entails some maintenance weaknesses. On the other hand, the number of Portuguese consulates in Angola of people born in Portugal is only available for the year 2013, when 38,994 registered persons were registered.  A number far below those announced in the media, about 100 to 200 thousand or more.
[1] For example, the extensive border with the DRC, a country bordering 7 of the 18 provinces of Angola (Cabinda, Zaire, Malanje, Uige, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul and Moxico), has been the gateway for many illegal migrants DRC and West Africa.

Portuguese in Australia: about half of the Portuguese-born population lives in Greater Sydney

In 2016, the majority of Australians continue to live in the eastern mainland states. Approximately 77% lived in New South Wales (32%), Victoria (25%) and Queensland (20%) (Census, 2016). New South Wales was still the most popular state or territory to live in 2016 for Australia’s overseas-born population (34%), including the Portuguese (53%).

Place of Usual Residence (States)

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on data from Australian Bureau of Statistics – Census 2016

The first movement of Portuguese migrants occurred during the 1950s mainly from Madeira Island towards Fremantle in Western Australia. Since then, Perth and Western Australia, in general, have been a frequent destination for Portuguese students and skilled labour which explains the higher presence of this group in this state compared to Australian and overseas-born population as a whole.

Portuguese – Year of Arrival in NSW, Australia (ranges)

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on data from Australian Bureau of Statistics – Census 2016.

In 2016, the majority of Portuguese migrants continue to live in NSW (53%), of which 82% were living in the greater Sydney area. Most of them arrived in the state during between 1966-1975 (39%) and have continued to arrive in the following decades: 1976-1985 (18%) and 1986-1995 (21%). During the turn of the century, the arrival of Portuguese migrants has decrease sharply (3,7%). However, in the middle of the first decade of the XXI century, the arrival of Portuguese has increased again (10%). The recent and significant increase of the Portuguese population in New South Wales is evident and crucial for our research, opening new questions about the configuration, projects and aspirations of this newcomers. 

East and West: where do immigrants live in Germany and Berlim

The richer and more industrialised south-western states of Germany are ususally preferred by immigrants. This is seen as still related to the division between East and West Germany before unification: to overcome shortage of East Germany workers after the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961, West Germany extablished bilateral agreements with southern countries where unemployment rates were high, so that guest-workers (Gastarbeiter) from these countries would move to and work in Germany industrialized hubs. The intent of the proprams was that these residents would stay in Germany only temporarily, but the reality is that, together with their families, they became permanent residents.
The big numbers of Turkish immigrants in Germany and in Berlin – where we can find the biggest Turkish community outside Turkey – are directly linked with the guest-worker programm.

Today, the majority of Portuguese migrants (first and second generation) reside in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia (26.1%), Baden-Württemberg (20.1%) and Hessen (10,5%).

In Berlin, where the Wall devided the city in East and West Germany, we can find a microcosmos of Germany as a whole, with the West part of the city being more affluent and cosmopolitan than the East. Mitte, in the historical centre of Berlin is the district with a higher percentage of immigrants, both first generation (green in the map) and second generation (dark blue). The West districts of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Neukölln also have high rates of foreign born population, with the East districts of Marzahn-Hellersdorf and Treptow-Köpenick having the lowest rates. EU nationals (of which we excluded Poland because of its overbarring weight in proportion to other EU countries) generally follow this tendency. There is no data for Portuguese migrants.

https://www.statistik-berlin-brandenburg.de/publikationen/Stat_Berichte/2018/SB_A01-05-00_2017h02_BE.pdf

Berlin: Portuguese migrant population with little female representation

According with official statistics, in 2017, Berlin had a population of over 3.5 million, of which a quarter was foreign.

The most represented countries were Turkey (11.4%), Poland (11.4%) and Italy (4.9%). Originating from the European Union countries were 49%  of immigrants, and Portuguese were 1.7% 

Berlin was the fifth German state with the largest EU migrant population and the fourth in terms of the lagest Portuguese population, with 10.2%, – or 14 905 out of the total of 146 810 – of all Portuguese living in Germany.

Portuguese migrants have traditionally settled in the more affluent and cosmopolitan German states of the south-west of the country, whose industrial centres imported most of the Portuguese workforce that arrived in the country during the 1960s and 1970s under the “guest workers” program (Gastarbeiterprogramm).

As for Berlin, the city has seen its Portuguese population grow steadily since the fall of the Berlin Wall and until 2017, when, already in the recovery of the finantial crisis which triggered unemployment in southern Europe, the number of Portuguese migrants tripled. However, while the female population doubled to 3 210, the male population quadrupled to 11 695, causing the female population to represent only 22% of the total number of Portuguese migrants in Berlin. The proportion of migrant women is significantly higher in the total immigrant population and among Germans.

The recent significant increase of the Portuguese population in Berlin, as well as the low representation of the female population, are relevant data in the characterization of the Portuguese population in Berlin. These findings open questions and raise hypotheses to be tested in the course of our investigation.

Kathy Burrell at ICS this week

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