Life Paths of Migrants: A Sequence Analysis of Polish Migrants’ Family Life Trajectories

Tom Kleinepier, H.A.G. de Valk, R.I.A. van Gaalen

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

229 Downloads (Pure)


After Poland’s accession to the European Union in 2004, Polish migration
within Europe has increased considerably. Still, little is known about this
large and growing group of immigrants. Using unique panel data from the Dutch
population registers, we first apply sequence analysis to explore and describe the variety of family life courses among young adult (aged 20–30 at migration) Polish migrants in the Netherlands. Each individual family life career is followed for a 5-year period on a monthly time base. Optimal matching analysis is applied to compute (dis)similarities between individuals, in order to cluster into predominant life paths. Second, a series of logistic regression analyses were carried out to determine the main factors of importance on the different family life paths. Findings showed a strong impact of the partner’s origin on the type of union and likelihood of return migration. Unemployment was found to be another important trigger of return migration. With regard to gender differences, we found that men are more likely to remain single and to leave the Netherlands at some point, while women more often cohabit and tend to stay.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-179
JournalEuropean Journal of Population
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Polish migrants
  • family events
  • return migration
  • sequence analysis
  • intra-European mobility
  • ssci


Dive into the research topics of 'Life Paths of Migrants: A Sequence Analysis of Polish Migrants’ Family Life Trajectories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this