„Where Have All the Young Girls Gone …?” Regional Analysis of Young Women’s Migration Behavior
The study examines the patterns and determinants of migration flows of young women at the age between 18 and 30 years. At the NUTS-3 regional level, i.e. the district level (Kreise), the German internal migration flows of the year 2005 are explored. From descriptive statistics it can be seen that peripheral regions in East Germany face the strongest migration deficit with respect to young women, whereas agglomerations in West Germany but also in the East benefit from an intense migration surplus within this group. The econometric analysis of determinants of regional migration flows emphasizes the importance of economic, family-related and educational migration motives. Generally speaking, young women tend to choose regions with good income and job opportunities. In addition, they seem to be attracted by regions enabling an appropriate balance between family and career. Furthermore, the existence of excellent educational facilities is a significant pull factor regarding young female migration. This educationally motivated type of migration generates an enduring effect on the regional balance of migration, which is especially true if the educational opportunities in the target region are associated with adequate career perspectives for highly qualified female graduates. In terms of recommendations for action, the study underlines the importance of policy measures improving the regional job and income opportunities. Secondly, the upgrading of fields of study mainly chosen by women seems to be a suitable way to stimulate female immigration. Moreover, the enhancement of the social infrastructure, which promotes a satisfactory work life balance, might attract young women or at least reduce the number of them leaving the region.