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Types of Migration
Internal Migration
Global Labour Mobility
Child Migration
Skilled Migration
Forced Migration
Return Migration

Key Themes
Modelling Causes
and Consequences
Links between Migrations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods
Social Protection
Gender and Generations
Health and Education

UK / international
Albania / Eastern Europe
Ghana / Africa
Egypt / the Middle East
Bangladesh and
South Asia




Project 4b
Migration and the Poverty Transition in Albania

Income poverty in Albania is an overwhelming rural phenomenon and in the last decade rural areas have been characterised by high levels of migration both to urban destinations within Albania and to international destinations. In addition to evidence from the Albanian Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS), several surveys of migration and poverty have been conducted by CESS in the last 2-3 years, which provide the basis for a better understanding of the relationship between poverty and migration in the Albanian context. Taken together, these data provide a rich set of material on migration choices and the relationship with poverty, and a number of initial observations can be made.

First, it is clear that migration peaked in Albania during two recent economic crises, in 1991-93, and again after the pyramid scandal in 1997, suggesting that international migration does represent a response to crisis. At the same time, the household surveys in Korçë suggest that around a fifth of household income overall is provided by migrant remittances, suggesting that migration is also an important livelihood diversification strategy. There is also some evidence to suggest that the Greek minority, as well as Romanian and Macedonian minorities, do better than Albanian migrants as a whole. In contrast, Roma and Egypt migrants do worse.
The purpose of this project is to further explore these questions through the construction of models of the relationship between migration and poverty in Albania, as well as to collect additional data in four districts of Albania to complete the CESS data set and complement it with in-depth material on migration choices.

Key Research Questions

What is the influence of different socioeconomic and demographic factors on migration choices and outcomes?
Specifically, for the poorest migrants, what kind of options are available, and how do they evaluate different migration options? Do stress migrants fare differently to those moving to mitigate shocks?
Does the poverty status of migrants before departure influence their experiences whilst abroad? Are there other factors that influence the likelihood of receiving low wages or experiencing hazardous working conditions, or contribute to low school enrolment?
What are the experiences of migration of different ethnic groups in Albania? What explanations can be put forward for the different experiences of different groups?
What is the effect of private transfers on poverty, and what are the implications of this for social policy?



Key Theme(s)
Modelling Causes and Consequences
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods

Region (s)
Albania and East Europe


Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

Barry Reilly (Sussex)
Julie Litchfield (Sussex)
Adriana Castaldo (Sussex)
Ilir Gedeshi (CESS, Albania)

Key Activities


Analysis and model building based on Albanian LSMS and existing quantitative data.

2. Extension of short-term international migration survey through the implementation of around 80 additional questionnaires.
3. New in-depth interviews in four locations in Albania;
4. Comparison with findings of project 4a.

Key Outputs

Workshop on methodological approaches

Presentation at a conference on migration in Albania
Three working papers and briefing notes
Academic publications
Presentation at workshop on poverty, vulnerability and migration in Sussex


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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs