Population growth and migration in Northern and Western Africa

Giambattista Salinari, Gustavo De Santis


This paper investigates the effect of population growth on international migration in northern and western Africaover the last 35 years. Population growth is a cause of emigration, with a lag of about twenty years, but its effect may vary according to local environmental conditions. Emigration is, it transpires, only the final response to population pressure, which kicks in when specific environmental constraints are met. With a sufficient increase in, for instance, arable land, land productivity or urbanization, emigration may be kept down, even after periods of rapid demographic increase.

Giambattista SALINARI, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali (DISEA), University of Sassari, Via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy. E-mail:

Gustavo DE SANTIS, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni (DISIA) “G. Parenti”, University of Florence, Viale Morgagni n. 59, 50134-Firenze, Italy. E-mail:


Migration; Demographic transition; Population growth; Interaction models

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ISSN: 2035-5556

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