Attractiveness of the Kaliningrad region: pull factors and reasons for disappointments of migrants from Russian regions
The Kaliningrad region’s attractiveness to migrants results in increasing external (international) and interregional migration. The interregional flow is a major contributor, accounting for approximately 60 per cent of the net migration gain. However, the age composition and professional qualification of migrants from other regions of Russia do not fully agree with the specifics of the region’s labour market and its strategic socio-economic development priorities. This lends urgency to a selective regional migration policy aimed at prospective internal migrants. Yet, the picture of pull, push and hindering factors remains incomplete, being limited to generally accepted drivers such as coastal location and proximity to EU countries. This article aims at a detailed analysis of reasons to migrate to the region, an assessment of the restrictions and difficulties faced by relocatees and migrants’ satisfaction with the new place of residence. Methodologically, the study uses a mixed strategy: formal data collection methods are combined with respondent selection techniques peculiar to qualitative or expert methods. The authors draw on the results of an exploratory survey conducted in December 2021 with a view to analyse migrants’ perception of the Kaliningrad region before and after their arrival and assess how their ideas change. The survey applied mixed research methods: respondents were recruited via social media and relocatee groups. The data analysis reveals a gap between migrant expectations and reality, identifying the causes of inconsistency between the incoming migration flow and the region’s development objectives and labour market needs. Based on the findings, the authors provide recommendations for a migration policy based on an accurate picture of the region and aimed at attracting the required workforce, as well as at migrants’ adaptation and support at the new place of residence.
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