Балтийский регион
Baltic Region
ISSN: 2079-8555 (Print)
ISSN: 2310-0524 (Online)
Pages 102-128

Attractiveness of the Kaliningrad region: pull factors and reasons for disappointments of migrants from Russian regions



The Kaliningrad region’s attractiveness to migrants results in increasing external (interna­tional) and interregional migration. The interregional flow is a major contributor, accounting for approximately 60 per cent of the net migration gain. However, the age composition and pro­fessional qualification of migrants from other regions of Russia do not fully agree with the specifics of the region’s labour market and its strategic socio-­economic development priori­ties. This lends urgency to a selective regional migration policy aimed at prospective internal migrants. Yet, the picture of pull, push and hindering factors remains incomplete, being limit­ed to generally accepted drivers such as coastal location and proximity to EU countries. This article aims at a detailed analysis of reasons to migrate to the region, an assessment of the re­strictions and difficulties faced by relocatees and migrants’ satisfaction with the new place of residence. Method­ologically, the study uses a mixed strategy: formal data collection methods are combined with respondent selection techniques peculiar to qualitative or expert methods. The authors draw on the results of an exploratory survey conducted in December 2021 with a view to analyse migrants’ perception of the Kaliningrad region before and after their arrival and assess how their ideas change. The survey applied mixed research methods: respondents were recruited via social media and relocatee groups. The data analysis reveals a gap between migrant expectations and reality, identifying the causes of inconsistency between the incoming migration flow and the region’s development objectives and labour market needs. Based on the findings, the authors provide recommendations for a migration policy based on an accurate picture of the region and aimed at attracting the required workforce, as well as at migrants’ adaptation and support at the new place of residence.

1. Lуalina, A. V. 2019, The role of migration in the demographic development of the Kaliningrad oblast, Regional’nye issledovaniya [Regional studies], № 4, р. 73—84, https://doi.org/10.5922/1994-5280-2019-4-6 (in Russ.).

2. Demintseva, E. B., Mkrtchyan, N. V., Florinskaya, Yu. F. 2018, Migratsionnaya po-litika: diagnostika, vyzovy, predlozheniya [Migration policy: diagnostics, challenges, suggestions], M., Center for Strategic Development, 55 p. (in Russ.).

3. Rybakovsky, L. L. 2017, Factors and causes of population migration, the mechanism of their relationship, Narodonaselenie [Population], № 2 (76), p. 51—61 (in Russ.).

4. Perevedentsev, V. I. 1975, Metody izucheniya migratsii naseleniya [Methods for studying population migration], M., Nauka, 232 p. (in Russ.).

5. Topilin, A. V. 1975, Territorial’noe pereraspredelenie trudovykh resur-sov v SSSR [Territorial redistribution of labor resources in the USSR], M., Economics, 159 p. (in Russ.).

6. Khomra, A. U. 1979, Migratsiya naseleniya: Voprosy teorii, metodiki issle-­dovaniya [Migration of the population: questions of theory, research methods], Kyiv, Naukova Dumka, 112 p. (in Russ.).

7. Petrov, M. B., Kurushina, E. V., Druzhinina, I. V. 2019, Attractiveness of the Russian Region­al Space as a Living Environment: Aspect of the Migrants’ Behavioural Rationality, Ekonomika Regiona [Economy of Regions], vol. 15, № 2, p. 377—390, https://doi.org/10.17059/2019-2-6.

8. Lee, E. 1966, A Theory of Migration, Demography, № 3, p. 47—57.

9. Parkins, N. C. 2010, Push and pull factors of migration, American Review of Political Economy, vol. 8, № 2, p. 6—23, https://doi.org/10.38024/arpe.119.

10. Dorigo, G., Tobler, W. 1983, Push-­Pull Migration Laws, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 73, № 1, p. 1—17.

11. Schoorl, J. J. 2000, Push and Pull Factors of International Migration: A Comparative Report, Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 161 p.

12. Abdou, L. H. 2020, ‘Push or pull’? Framing immigration in times of crisis in the European Union and the United States, Journal of European Integration, vol. 42, № 5, p. 643—658, https://doi.org/10.1080/07036337.2020.1792468.

13. Matsui, N., Raymer, J. 2020, The Push and Pull Factors Contributing Towards Asylum Migration from Developing Countries to Developed Countries Since 2000, International Migration, vol. 58, № 6, p. 210—231, https://doi.org/10.1111/imig.12708.

14. Viñuela, A., Gutiérrez Posada, D., Rubiera Morollón, F. 2019, Determinants of immigrants’ concentration at local level in Spain: Why size and position still matter, Popul Space Place, vol. 25, № 7, art. e2247, https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.2247.

15. Economist Intelligence Unit, 2008, Global migration barometer: methodology, results & findings. Sponcored by Western Union, URL: https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/sites/www.un.org.development.desa.pd/files/unpd-cm7-2008-11_g... (accessed 20.01.22).

16. Tuccio, M. 2019, Measuring and assessing talent attractiveness in OECD countries, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, № 229, Paris, OECD Publishing, 58 p., https://doi.org/10.1787/b4e677ca-en.

17. Zemtsov, S. P. Baburin, V. L. 2016, Assessing the Potential of Economic-­Geographical Position for Russian Regions, Economy of Region, vol. 12, № 1, p. 117— 138, https://doi.org/10.17059/2016-1-9 (in Russ.).

18. Carson, D. B., Wenghofer, E., Timony, P. et al. 2016, Recruitment and retention of profes­sional labour: The health workforce at settlement levelю In: Taylor, A. et al. (eds.), Settlements at the edge: Remote human settlements in developed nations, Cheltenham (UK) and Northampton (USA), Edward Elgar, p. 320—336.

19. Harwood, S., Wensing, E., Ensign, P. C. 2016, Place-based planning in remote regions: Cape York Peninsula, Australia and Nunavut, Canada. In: Taylor, A. et al. (eds.), Settlements at the edge: Remote human settlements in developed nations, Cheltenham (UK) and Northampton (USA), Edward Elgar, p. 124—150.

20. Guimond, L., Desmeules, A. 2019, Choosing the northern periphery: Paradoxes in the ways of dwelling of new residents of Eastern Minganie (North Shore, Québec, Canada), Popul Space Place, vol. 25, № 6, art. e2226, https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.2226.

21. Carson, D. B., Rasmussen, R., Ensign, P. et al. (eds.). 2011, Demography at the edge: Remote human populations in developed nations, Farnham (UK), Ashgate.

22. Simard, M. 2009, Retention and departure factors influencing highly skilled immigrants in rural areas: Medical professionals in Québec, Canada. In: Jentsch, B., Simard, M. (eds.), International migration and rural areas—Cross national comparative perspectives, Williston VT, Ashgate, p. 43—73.

23. Taylor, A., Carson, D. B., Ensign, P. C. et al. (eds.). 2016, Settlements at the edge: Remote human settlements in developed nations. Cheltenham (UK) and Northampton (USA), Edward Elgar, https://doi.org/10.4337/9781784711962.

24. Anastasiou, E., Duquenne, M.-N. 2020, Determinants and Spatial Patterns of Counterurbanization in Times of Crisis: Evidence from Greece, Population Review, vol. 59, № 2, p. 88—110, https://doi.org/10.1353/prv.2020.0004.

25. Bilan, Yu. 2012, Specificity of border labour migration, Transformations in Business & Economics, vol. 11, № 2, p. 82—97.

26. Tsapenko, I. P. 2018, Cross-­Border Mobility: Updating the Format, Her. Russ. Acad. Sci, № 88, p. 369—378, https://doi.org/10.1134/S1019331618050088.

27. Möller, C., Alfredsson-­Olsson, E., Ericsson, B., Overvåg, K. 2018, The border as an engine for mobility and spatial integration: A study of commuting in a Swedish—Norwegian context, Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift — Norwegian Journal of Geography, vol. 72, № 4, p. 217—233, https://doi.org/10.1080/00291951.2018.1497698.

28. Kolosov, V. A., Vendina, O. I. 2011, Daily life and migration of the population (on the exam­ple of the Belgorod-­Kharkov section of the border). In: Kolosov, V. A., Vendina, O. I. (eds.), Rossiisko-­Ukrainskoe pogranich’e: dva-dtsat’ let razdelennogo edinstva [Russian-­Ukrainian borderland: twenty years of divided unity], Novyi Khronograf, p. 162—180 (in Russ.).

29. Hrynkevych, O. 2017, Cross-border factor of educational migration of Ukrainian youth to Poland: social-­economic opportunities and threats, Economic Annals-­ХХI, vol. 163, № 1—2 (1), p. 26—30, https://doi.org/10.21003/ea.V163-05.

30. Kiss, É., Jankó, F., Bertalan, L. és Mikó, E. 2018, Nyugat és Kelet határán: Sopron a belföldi migrációban, Tér és Társadalom, vol. 32, № 4, p. 151—166, https://doi.org/10.17649/TET.32.4.3070.

31. Sokolova, F. Kh., Lyalina, A. V. 2021, Migration attractiveness of the coastal zone of Russia’s North-­West: local gradients, Balt. Reg., vol. 13, № 4, p. 54—78, https://doi.org/10.5922/2079-8555-2021-4-4.

32. Creel, L. 2003, Ripple effects: population and coastal regions, Washington, Population Reference Bureau.

33. Coldbach, C. 2017, Out-migration from Coastal Areas in Ghana and Indonesia—the Role of Environmental Factors, CESifo Economic Studies, vol. 63, № 4, p. 529—559, https://doi.org/10.1093/cesifo/ifx007.

34. Zelinsky, W. 1971, The Hypothesis of the Mobility Transition, Geographical Review, vol. 61, № 2, p. 219—249.

35. Montanari, A., Staniscia, B. 2011, From global to local: Human mobility in the Rome coastal area in the context of the global economic crisis, Volltextausgaben, № 3—4, p. 127—200, https://doi.org/10.4000/belgeo.6300.

36. Iden, G., Richter, C. 1971, Factors Associated with Population Mobility in the Atlantic Coastal Plains Region, Land Economics, vol. 47, № 2, p. 189—193.

37. Fulanda, B., Munga, C., Ohtomi, J. et al. 2009, The structure and evolution of the coastal migrant fishery of Kenya, Ocean & Coastal Management, vol. 52, № 9, p. 459— 466, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2009.07.001.

38. Merkens, J.-L., Reimann, L., Hinkel, J., Vafeidis, A. T. 2016, Gridded population projections for the coastal zone under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, Global and Planetary Change, № 145, p. 57—66, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2016.08.009.

39. O’Reilly, K. 2000, The British on the Costa del Sol, London, Routledge, 198 p.

40. Janoschka, M., Haas, H. (eds.). 2013, Contested Spatialities, Lifestyle Migration and Residential Tourism, London, Routledge, 193 p.

41. Huber, A., O’Reilly, K. 2004, The construction of Heimat under conditions of individualised modernity: Swiss and British elderly migration in Spain, Ageing and Society, vol. 24, № 3, p. 327—351.

42. Casado-­Díaz, M. 2006, Retiring to Spain: An Analysis of Difference among North European Nationals, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 32, № 8, p. 1321— 1339.

43. Benson, M., O’Reilly, K. 2009, Migration and the search for a better way of life: A critical exploration of lifestyle migration, The Sociological Review, vol. 57, № 4, p. 608—625.

44. Membrado, J. K. 2015, Pensioners’ coast: migration of elderly north Europeans to the Costa Blanca, MÈTODE Science Studies Journal, № 5, p. 65—73, https://doi.org/10.7203/metode.81.3111.

45. Laiz, I., Relvas, P., Plomaritis, T., Garel, E. 2016, Erasmus experience between the University of Cadiz (Spain) and the University of Algarve (Portugal). In: EDULEARN16: proceedings of conference. Barcelona, 2016, p. 4649—4653, https://doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.2119.

46. Ionov, V. V., Kaledin, N. V., Kakhro, N. M. et al. 2016, Forms of International cooperation in Environmental education: the experience of Saint Petersburg State University, Baltic region, vol. 8, № 4, p. 114—128, https://doi.org/10.5922/2074-9848-2016-4-8.

47. Burt, J., Killilea, M., Ciprut, S. 2019, Coastal urbanization and environmental change: Opportunities for collaborative education across a global network university, Regional Studies in Marine Science, № 26, art. 100501, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsma.2019.100501.

48. Vakulenko, E. S., Mkrtchyan, N. V. 2020, Factors of Interregional Migration in Russia Disaggregated by Age, Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, № 13, p. 609—630.

49. Mkrtchyan, N. V., Vakulenko, E. S. 2019, Interregional migration in Russia at different stages of the life cycle, Geo Journal, vol. 84, № 6, p. 1549—1565.

50. Vakulenko, Е. 2019, Motives for internal migration in Russia: What has changed in recent years? Applied Econometrics, vol. 55, p. 113—138, https://doi.org/10.24411/1993-7601-2019-10013.

51. Lisitsyn, P. P., Stepanov, А. М. 2019, Moving from Tajikistan to Russia: myths and reality, Monitoring of Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes Journal (Public Opinion Monitoring), № 2, p. 304—317, https://doi.org/10.14515/monitoring.2019.2.14 (in Russ.).

52. Murashchenkova, N., Gritsenko, V., Brazhnik, I. 2017, Psychological Analysis of Expectations of Russians to Russia from the Ukraine and Other Countries, Psychologist, № 5, p. 77—91, https://doi.org/10.25136/2409-8701.2017.5.24294 (in Russ.).

53. Lyalina, A. V. 2021, Migration processes in the coastal municipalities of the Kaliningrad region: “agglomeration” effects or thalasso-­attraction? Pskovskii regionologicheskii zhurnal [Pskov regional journal], № 2 (46), p. 58—78 (in Russ.).

54. Lyalina, A. V. 2020, Migration processes in the South-­East Baltic. In: Tarasov, I. N., Fedorov, G. M. (eds.), Kaliningradskaya oblast’ v novykh koordinatakh baltiiskoi geopolitiki [Kaliningrad region in the new coordinates of the Baltic geopolitics], Kaliningrad, Izd. I. Kant, p. 189—220 (in Russ.).

55. Rogers, A., Castro, L. 1981, Model migration schedules. Research report
RR-81-30, Laxenburg, IIASA. 153 p.

56. Karachurina, L. B., Mkrtchyan, N. V. 2016, Interregional migration in Russia: age characteristics Demograficheskoe obozrenie [Demographic overview], vol. 3, № 4, p. 47—65 (in Russ.).

57. Chudinovskikh, O. S. 2021, On the issue of creating a population register and using administrative data for the needs of state statistics, Voprosy statistiki [Issues of statistics], vol. 28, № 1, p. 5—17 (in Russ.).

58. Mkrtchyan, N. V. 2020, Problems in the statistics of internal Russian migration, generated by a change in the accounting methodology in 2011, Demograficheskoe obozrenie [Demographic overview], vol. 7, № 1, p. 83—99 (in Russ.).

59. Shteinberg, I. E. 2014, Sampling Logic Diagrams for Qualitative Interviews: “Eight-window” Model, Sotsiologiya: metodologiya, metody, matematicheskoe modelirovanie [Sociology: methodology, methods, mathematical modeling], № 38, p. 38—71 (in Russ.).

60. Yemelyanova, L. L., Lyalina, A. V. 2020, The labour market of Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave amid COVID-19, Balt. Reg., vol. 12, № 4, p. 61—82, https://doi.org/10.5922/2079-8555-2020-4-4.

The article