Online Invited Seminar Talk

Residential Decisions of High-skilled Migrants: Barcelona’s Case

Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography
Online Invited Seminar Talk, February 23, 2021

Gonzalo Garcia from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona talked about his research on spatial reconfiguration of social groups caused by migration.


International Mobility in the 21st century is increasing at enormous speed. This is causing great demographic changes, especially in the large interconnected urban areas of the world. As a consequence of these flows, cities are experiencing a continuous spatial reconfiguration of social groups. Barcelona stands as a paradigmatic case, especially due to the great attraction that the city has shown in the last two decades to international migrants from all over the world. In addition, Barcelona has a considerable amount of information available at a very detailed scale that includes a wide range of characteristics of the city. By combining data from the population register that includes all the migratory in-flows in the city for the period 2016-2018 with a large dataset of aggregated socio-economic variables at neighborhood level, including non-traditional demographic data sources, as for example, the digital trail left by individuals, this paper aims to study the settlement patterns of international skilled migrants in the city of Barcelona, focusing on the pull effects that diverse aggregated variables have on the residential decisions of these individuals when arriving in the city. Our final purpose is to disentangle how skilled migrants of different characteristics (sex, age and place of birth) react to the mentioned pull attributes and how these reactions configure not only the urban clusters of highly qualified migration in Barcelona’s neighborhoods, but also the resulting changes in population composition, mainly in terms of origin and educational level.


Gonzalo Garcia is a M.A. in Social Policy, Labour and Welfare from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. Currently doing the European Doctoral School of Demography (EDSD) in Barcelona, he has previous professional experience in Data Science in Argentina, he is interested in researching residence patterns of high-skilled migrants using both traditional registry data and digital sources. More info: github.com/gonzalofichero

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.