Living Apart Together across Borders: A Comparative Analysis of African Migration

Cris Beauchemin, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Jocelyn Nappa, Université Catholique de Louvain
Bruno D. Schoumaker, Université Catholique de Louvain
Amparo Gonzalez-Ferrer, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Kim Caarls, Universiteit Maastricht
Valentina Mazzucato, Universiteit Maastricht

This paper studies “living apart together across borders” (LATAB) couples, i.e. couples who were (or still are) physically separated because of international migration. It focuses on sub-Saharan migration into Europe and provides a comparison of three different migrant groups (Congolese, Ghanaian and Senegalese migrants). Its objective is to study the process of couple reunification (timing and factors) through an even-history approach. Analyses are based on the data of the MAFE project (Migration between Africa and Europe) that collected retrospective life histories both in origin (DR Congo, Ghana, Senegal) and destination countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, UK). The results show that living apart together across borders is a durable living arrangement for African migrants. The paper discusses the hypothesis that couple reunification is a triple selection process in which governments, the migrants and their relatives interact.

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Presented in Session 33: Migration and Family Dynamics