Baltic Sea Region Territorial Monitoring System

Net migration rate

Indicator definition

Net migration rate is defined as the difference between immigrants and emigrants of a region, divided by region population. A positive value means that more people enter a region than leaving it, while negative values mean that more people leave the region than entering into it.

Indicator importance

This indicator is considered as a proxy for the overall attractiveness of a region in terms of labour markets, education, job opportunities, quality of life, welfare state and others. Positive net migration rates might counteract negative natural demographic trends such as lack of births or overaged  population. Net migration is an official indicator of the EU SDS.


In absolute numbers, the most attractive destinations for migrants in 2010 in the ESPON Space are certain metropolises: Roma, Milano, Stockholm, Brussels, Munich, Budapest, Manchester etc. But some other metropolises have become the sources of intense net outmigration, too: for example, Dublin and all biggest Lithuanian cities. In the BSR, the biggest net outmigration was from Lithuanian cities, while Stockholm, Berlin, Minsk and Hamburg gained most net migrants.

On average 2005-2012, net migration includes both rural-urban moving within a country and moving between countries: urbanization and moving to richer countries prevail. Out-migration has been dominating in most regions of the new EU member states (Czech Republic and Slovenia being exceptions). People are moving out of the most peripheral Nordic regions of Russia, Finland, and Sweden, but also of Pskovskaya oblast and Belarus. On the other hand, outmigration dominates in many German regions – not only East Germany where it is very intense, but others too. In the old member states north-eastern France and eastern Austria are also characterized by prevailing outmigration. Spain, Southern France, Italy and Ireland have gained relatively most in-migrants. The eastern and southern shore of the Baltic Sea is characterized by prevailing outmigration. The same holds for the northernmost periphery. The highest average rates of net outmigration can be found in East Germany, Lithuania and Murmanskaya oblast. Southern regions of Sweden, Norway and Finland, Denmark, Berlin, St Petersburg, and surrounding it oblasts attract migrants. Remarkable net in- migration can be seen around certain cities in Poland and Baltic States, too.