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This study explores possible futures of Mediterranean migration based on an evaluation of past, current and future drivers of migration in the region. Since 1950, structural shifts in the political economy of the region have fundamentally changed the Mediterranean migration map. Particularly the rise of Gulf economies and south European growth and EU expansion has transformed the northern Mediterranean and the Gulf into new immigration poles. The main drivers of these changes are economic and political. Contrary to conventional beliefs, the role of environmental and also demographic factors seems comparatively limited, probabilistic and indirect. Future climate change and environmental stress may affect internal movement but are unlikely to result in massive international migration. Under most scenarios, Turkey and other North African countries may well evolve into immigration countries coinciding with increasing immigration from sub-Saharan Africa to the entire Mediterranean.

More information


Journal article


Global Environmental Change

Publication Date



21 (1)


S59 - S69

Total pages



International migration, Mediterranean basin, Scenarios, Climate change, Drivers