Settlement Decisions of Polish Migrants in the Netherlands. Do Linked Lives Matter?

Helga de Valk, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI-KNAW)
Tom De Winter, University of Groningen

In this study, we aim to examine the settlement intentions of Polish migrants in the Netherlands from a family and life course perspective. Since the accession of ten new member states to the European Union in 2004, Polish migrants have become the largest European immigrant group in the Netherlands. This migration was highly debated and extensively studied, mainly from a labour market perspective. In these debates, the permanency of the migration was one of the concerns. Although high shares of temporary migrations are confirmed in the literature and official statistics, they also show a growing group of more permanent Polish residents in the Netherlands. In this study, we focus on this group of stayers. We add to the existing literature by applying a life course perspective: we investigate to what degree Polish migrants’ decisions to settle are influenced by their relationship and family context, focusing especially on the effects of the nuclear family (partner and children). In this way, we look at ‘linked lives’ in both the local and transnational context. We use detailed socio-demographic data of the first wave of the ‘Polish migrants in the Netherlands’ survey for our quantitative analyses that were collected in 2014 and 2015. This survey includes information on 1131 Polish migrants living in the Netherlands, including detailed information on family relations in a migration context. Preliminary results confirm the importance of various partner and relationship characteristics in settlement decisions.

Presented in Session 1084: International Migration and Migrant Populations