European Journal of Population

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 65–87 | Cite as

An Origin and Destination Perspective on Family Reunification: The Case of Senegalese Couples

  • Pau Baizán
  • Cris Beauchemin
  • Amparo González-Ferrer


European societies are expressing growing concern about the consequences of migrant family reunification on their soil for the management of their borders and the success of the integration process. Many policy makers assume that most migrants intend to bring their relatives to Europe as soon as possible, and argue that it might be difficult for reunified migrants to integrate into their host societies. Our results concerning the process of reunification of Senegalese couples in France, Italy, or Spain strongly challenge this view. Using MAFE (Migration between Africa and Europe) data with a life event history approach, we show that (1) separation is often a long-lasting situation among Senegalese couples; (2) separated couples do not only reunify in Europe but also quite commonly in Senegal; (3) the couples who reunify in Europe tend to be those who adapt most readily to the European culture and economy.


Migration Family reunification Transnational couple Africa Senegal 



Previous versions of this paper have been presented to the conference “Migration: A World in Motion” (Maastricht, 18–20 February 2010), the European Population Conference (Vienna, 1–4 September 2010), the Workshop on Spatial Mobility, Family Lives and Living Arrangements (IMISCOE-MIGREMUS, Bremen, 17–18 November 2011), and the Sixth African Population Conference (UAPS, Ouagadougou, 5–9 December 2011). We thank the participants to these events for their comments and suggestions. We also thank the anonymous referees. The research reported here has been founded by European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, National Program of Research and Development (CSO2009-12816).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pau Baizán
    • 1
    • 4
  • Cris Beauchemin
    • 2
  • Amparo González-Ferrer
    • 3
  1. 1.Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institut National d’Études DémographiquesParis Cédex 20France
  3. 3.Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y SocialesMadridSpain
  4. 4.Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA)BarcelonaSpain

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