Future Migration Scenarios for Europe

The project will focus on understanding the patterns, motivations and modalities of migration at multiple geographical scales, from international through regional to the local, and on imagining possible futures.

© Gromotuha1 / Dreamstime.com

© Gromotuha1 / Dreamstime.com

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding scheme, this three-year project coordinated by Profs. Henning Sten Hansen and Carsten Kessler from Aalborg University Copenhagen consists of 9 partners from 8 European countries and involves experts from multi-disciplinary fields such as demography, geography, geoinformatics, economics, and statistics among others.

IIASA will lead the work package on migration projections under the direction of Anne Goujon. Goujon is a senior researcher at IIASA with a main focus on multi-state population projections. Her main research interests are the analysis and projections at macro-level of background characteristics of the population acquired during childhood that rarely change once an individual has emancipated from parental control such as education and religion. She has applied the methodology of multi-state population projections to many settings showing through scenarios the impact of the long-term dynamics of demographic change on these characteristics, and reversely the impact of heterogeneous demographic behaviors of these groups on the overall population. Dilek Yildiz, Samir KC, Guy Abel and Claudia Reiter will complement the IIASA team.

The project will contribute to the understanding of future migration mobility patterns through the development of a data-driven simulation tool for scenario-based, localized migration projections. The development will closely interact with the formulation of scenarios based on the shared socio-economic pathways and on relevant data for future migration. The tool implementation will be based on the concept of layers from geographic information systems, each representing a push or pull factor that in combination determine the likelihood of attracting migrants to a city or neighborhood. The role of the different factors will be determined using machine learning techniques, leveraging the detailed data of the partner statistics offices. The project will quantify the projections' sensitivity to developments and policies in different political, economical, and environmental scenarios, as well as the corresponding uncertainties.

Both the scenarios and the projections will start at the international level, and then downscale the simulations to local projections of migration to and within cities. Case studies will be implemented in large European cities (Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Krakow, Rome) to ensure input of relevant data to the model, and to evaluate projection results in terms of e.g. segregation.

The project output will consist of (1) qualitative and quantitative future migration scenarios; (2) new data to improve the understanding of future migration towards and within Europe; and (3) a flexible and extensible open-source scenario-based simulation tool for migration projections for future use and development by the community. Beyond the enhancement of the knowledge base on patterns, motivations, modalities, and key drivers of migration, the expected impact of the project is also an expansion of the migration projection toolbox. The project's innovation is in its interdisciplinary approach, leveraging techniques such as geosimulation and machine learning for migration projections.

The migration scenarios developed in this project will build on and go beyond the country-level projections developed by the Centre of Expertise on Population and Migration, a research partnership between IIASA and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre that provides science-based knowledge on migration and demography to support EU policy. Early access to CEPAM results and knowledge exchange with CEPAM will be ensured through IIASA’s participation in this Horizon2020 project.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 870649. Project Name: Future Migration Scenarios for Europe, FUME.

Print this page

Last edited: 13 April 2021


Dilek Yildiz

Research Scholar Migration and Sustainable Development Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Research Scholar Multidimensional Demographic Modeling Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program


01.12.2019 - 30.11.2022


Future migration scenarios for Europe

29 Jan 2020 - 31 Jan 2020



IIASA-JRC Centre of Expertise on Population and Migration

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313