Rural migration in Tunisia: Drivers and patterns of rural youth migration and its impact on food security and rural livelihoods in Tunisia
This report (PDF) by The Migration Policy Centre and FAO, addresses the determinants of migration and mobility, the patterns and types of rural youth outmigration and the impact of rural youth migration on food security and rural livelihoods and societies in origin regions in Tunisia. The research used a mixed-methods approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods, providing comparative insights into: international and internal migrants and non-migrants; pre- and post-2011 migrants; households with and without migrants. Main results show that migrants from rural areas are increasingly highly educated and leaving to pursue their studies abroad. This particularly applies to women, who also register a decrease in marriage-related migration. Migration proves to be rewarding for both internal and international migrants, in terms of occupational and social security outcomes. While incomes from remittances tend not to be invested in productive activities, evidence shows that one internal migrant out of four and one international migrant out of three has an economic activity in the areas of origin, which in most of the cases is connected with agricultural or animal production. Given the key role of agriculture both as a preferred sector for transnational engagement of migrants and as a targeted domain of activity and investment upon future return, policies focusing on migration and rural development could address both these forms of diaspora mobilisation. In particular, measures fostering the return migration of potential agro-entrepreneurs and the reintegration of returnees into local labour markets should take full account of the scope (retirement or productive return, intention to enter the labour market as an employee or as an entrepreneur, area of return, etc.) and nature of return migration (demographic and socio-economic characteristics, educational level, skills acquired abroad, availability of capital to be invested, etc. of returnees). The Rural Migration in Tunisia (RuMiT) research project was undertaken in the framework of the FAO project “Youth mobility, food security and rural poverty reduction: Fostering rural diversification through enhanced youth employment and better mobility” (GCP/INT/240/ITA) – in brief, the Rural Youth Migration (RYM) project – implemented in Tunisia and Ethiopia between 2015 and 2017, and funded by the Italian Development Cooperation. Please find also this earlier report of the project here.