The youth migration from small towns in Russia




youth migration, small towns, return migration, secondary school graduates


The migration of young people from small towns of Russia is sig- nificant, that is mainly connected with the educational migration to cities. The paper presents the results of a survey of secondary school graduates from four Russian small towns that are located at a great distance from regional centers, as well as interviews with experts from these towns conducted in 2015. The article analyzes the reasons and intentions for migration of young people, its scope and directions, and opportunities and obstacles of return migration. The youth migration is not driven by their spontaneous decision; their attitudes to departure are formed long before graduation. Families are ready to support young people in their migratory intentions. Cities of destinations are frequently chosen regarding plans of the further migration of family. The choice of city of immigration is shaped by university prestige and the availability of the chosen area of study. However, the prospects to gain permanent residence in the city where young people were sent to study play a crucial role. Return migration to small towns after graduation is limited; having a good job in the townor a unsuccessful experience to settle down in a city are common reasons for return.