Understanding Family Migration in Rural South Africa: Exploring Children's Inclusion in the Destination Households of Migrant Parents

Bennett, Rachel ORCID: 0000-0002-5780-8786, Hosegood, Victoria, Newell, Marie-Louise and McGrath, Nuala (2015) Understanding Family Migration in Rural South Africa: Exploring Children's Inclusion in the Destination Households of Migrant Parents. Population, Space and Place, 21 (4). pp. 310-321. doi:10.1002/psp.1842

Understanding family migration in rural south africa.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

Download (639kB) | Preview


There is growing policy and academic interest in the conditions, experiences, and well-being of migrant families stretched across origin and destination households. In South Africa, the dispersal of children and migrant parents across multiple households is a commonplace childhood experience. However, in common with the broader international context, quantitative analyses of the social and residential connections between children and migrant parents in South Africa have been limited by the lack of available data that document family arrangements from the perspective of more than one household. This paper describes a new data collection effort in the origin and destination households of migrants from rural KwaZulu- Natal and explains the methodology for using this data to examine multiple household contexts for children and parents. In order to illustrate the contribution that this form of data collection effort could make to family migration studies, the paper also presents results on the living arrangements of children ‘left behind’ by migrant parents; a potentially vulnerable group whose arrangements are challenging to examine with existing data sources. The empirical results show the majority (75%) of left behind children have previously migrated and a significant proportion of migrants’ children (25%)were not living in their parent’s origin or destination household. The findings highlight the need for careful measurement of the circumstances of left behind children and demonstrate the contribution of linked data for providing insights into the residential arrangements ofmigrants’ children.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Children; Migrant parents; Family migration; Destination household; South Africa; REF2021
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Rachel Bennett
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2015 09:06
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:58
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2919

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.