Migration of Hungarian-speaking population from Romania: intentions and real processes

Irén Gödri, Demographic Research Institute, Budapest
Tamás Kiss, The Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities

The main aim of our paper is the presentation of migration intentions and the migration processes of the Hungarian-speaking population of Romania. The presentation is based on a demographic panel-research, Turning points of our life-course – Transylvania, designed and managed by the Demographic Research Institute of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office and the Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities. The survey’s first wave was carried out in 2006. Its sample (N = 2500) was representative for the Hungarian-speaking population of 14 counties of Romania (Transylvania) aged between 25 and 45 years. The second wave took place in 2009 (N = 1900). Many of those we did not find the second time had migrated abroad during the 2006–2009 period (with the intention of temporary work or definitive settlement). The novelty of our research and presentation is that we investigated migration intentions and migration processes based on a panel-survey. In our paper we discuss the following issues: (1) What is the extent of migration processes: what is the ratio of the Hungarian speaking population of 20–45 ages who migrated during the 2006–2009 period? How can we define the socio-demographic profile of these migrants? (2) In what extent have been the intentions of international migration fulfilled? Is the effective migrant population identical with those who intended to migrate in 2006? (3) Which factors increase the chance of fulfilling the migration intentions? Our presentation – besides providing information about migration patterns of Hungarian-speaking population – could be interesting theoretically from the perspective of migration-potential research. These investigations generally start from the assumption that migration processes can be forecasted, if we examine the migration intentions. We attempt to test and to nuance this assumption empirically.

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Presented in Poster Session 2