Youth with a Migrant Background: Are They Willing to Stay in Russia?

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Rocheva, A., Varshaver, E., Ivanova, N. (2019). Youth with a Migrant Background: Are They Willing to Stay in Russia?. Журнал Сибирского федерального университета. Гуманитарные науки, 12(7), 1256-1281.

 

In the context of current demographic situation in Russia, migration is considered one of the most efficient ways of population maintenance if not upsurge. Labour migrants coming to Russia are mostly young people. Moreover, in recent years, the youth who grew up in migrant families — the so called second generation migrants, the 1.5 generation migrants, and migrants of other more fractional categories — are becoming increasingly important. According to the international research, migration plans of these groups of young people can, to a varying extent, include the intentions to return to their or their parents’ country of origin, higher instability being their distinctive feature. In light of this, the issue of the-youth-withmigrant-background’s willingness to plan their future in Russia and, thus, their potential to be the resource for correcting the demographic situation is getting urgent. Basing on qualitative interviews and online surveys, this article considers the issue of how various groups of youth with a migrant background view plans of their future life in Russia and what these plans are connected with. Less than a half of the first generation migrants are willing to stay in Russia, whereas the majority of the second and 1.5 generation migrants plan to live in Russia in future. The factors associated with orientation towards Russia are the respondents’ age at their first migration to Russia and at the moment of the survey, social ties and identification attitudes. They are significant for both groups. However, there are differences as well: for migrants of the second and 1.5 generations the age at their migration to Russia is less important than their feeling of belonging to Russia, whereas these are legal statuses and documents that are decisive for the first generation migrants. Nonetheless, migration plans among youth with migrant a background are malleable, which opens up the receiving state’s opportunities to attract and retain this group.