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Men at work: labour as a possible driver for differing emigration flows in the CIS region

Countries keep better records of individuals entering the country than of individuals who leave. This makes emigration difficult to measure. In order to mitigate this problem, UNECE launched the  Migration Clearing House, a data exchange depository which uses data on out-migration flows from select CIS countries to examine the age and gender dynamics of CIS emigrants.

Globally, around 87 percent of reported immigration occurs between CIS countries and 13 percent from CIS to OECD countries, with migration to and from Russia largely driving these trends.

The chart below shows the difference in the age and sex distribution of migrants within the CIS region and those who emigrate to OECD countries. Emigrants from CIS countries who move to another CIS country are more likely to be male and young, with 15 percent of these being male between the ages of 20 and 29. By comparison, females of the same age group who move from one CIS country to another CIS country make up only 11 percent of these migrants. Men make up 56 percent of migrants who move from one CIS country to another. By contrast, those who move from CIS countries to OECD countries are predominately female with 53 percent of these migrants being women. 

The predominance of young male immigrants within the CIS region could be driven by the nature of labour migration. The jobs which may drive this labour migration within CIS countries are more likely to be in male dominated fields such as manual labour. While the reasons for the gender disparity of migrants moving from CIS countries to OECD countries are more difficult to discern, it too could be attributed to different conditions in the labour market or to educational attainment patterns.

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