, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 73-94,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 05 Nov 2009

Considering, planning, and realizing migration in early adulthood. The influence of life-course events and perceived opportunities on leaving the city in Germany


Despite the common acknowledgement that migration is a process, the vast majority of empirical migration studies focus on actual moves without paying attention to the stages preceding them. We use an analytical framework in which the migration process is subdivided into a phase of decision-making, consisting of considering and planning the move, and another phase of realizing it. We investigate which part both life-course events and perceived opportunities play in each stage of the migration process for moves out of the city among young adults aged 18–29 years. The data come from a representative survey in two German cities (Magdeburg and Freiburg) and were gathered via a two-wave design in 2006 and 2007. Results from a generalized ordered logistic regression analysis of not considering, considering, or planning migration reveal that perceived opportunities and life-course events are important predictors of considering and planning migration, whereas beginning tertiary education and beginning a job are particularly important to entering the planning stage. Results from a binomial logistic regression of moving versus staying show that resources are particularly important for putting the decision in favor of migration into action.