About half of the return migrants are satisfied to be back

Most of the 707 returnees had come back from Russia, though the share for women is lower than for men (Figure 3.8). Among female return migrants, the share returning from Russia is higher than the share of female emigrants currently live there. Men returnees have mainly come home from Russia, and again the share is slightly higher than the share of current emigrants in Russia. The reverse is true for North America and the European union, indicating that emigrants who moved there are more likely to stay than return.

Figure 3.8. The majority of return migrants have returned from Russia

Share of return migrants’ former country of residence (%), by gender

Note: One individual returned from Latvia, which is included in the category “EU-28”, not in “Former USSR”. Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

The reasons why return migrants initially emigrated are similar to those mentioned by current emigrants, especially for men. Most male return migrants reported labour related or financial reasons as their motivation for emigrating. Among female returnees, the share that initially migrated for family reasons (44%) is higher than the share of female current emigrants who reported migrating for this reason (32%).

About 72% of the return migrants had spent less than one year abroad. The three most common reasons returnees gave for coming back to Armenia were that they preferred their own country (54%), a lack of legal status (19%) or difficulties integrating (13%; Figure 3.9). Men are more likely than women to return because of a lack of legal status (23% versus 9%), and women because of their preference for Armenia (64% versus 51%).

Figure 3.9. Most return migrants came back because they prefer to be in Armenia

Relative share of reasons return migrants left destination country (%)

Note: The category “individual preference” includes returning for family, retirement, marriage, and health reasons. Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Return migrants were also asked whether they were satisfied to be back in Armenia. More than half were satisfied or very satisfied to be back in the country, with the share higher for migrants who have returned to rural areas (56%) than to urban ones (49%). Among those satisfied to be back, 17% plan to re-migrate in the next 12 months, compared to 34% of those who are unsatisfied. More than 60% of the returnees faced challenges on their return, mostly difficulties finding a job in the first five years upon return.

This chapter has presented the three tools used to collect data - household and community surveys and the qualitative stakeholder interviews - and the analysis techniques for exploring the links between migration, public policies and development. The following chapter takes a sector-by-sector approach to presenting the results of the data analysis: the labour market, agriculture, education, and finance and investment.

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