In this chapter, we use the MAFE data to study the relationships between migration and family in the context of DR Congo and Europe. Taking advantage of the multi-sited nature of the data, we show that transnational families are quite common. Two thirds of all households from the region of Kinshasa declared having migrant members abroad (whatever their place of residence). Conversely, using the data collected in Europe, we show that a quarter of Congolese migrants in Belgium and UK still had close relatives in Congo at the time of the survey (spouse or children). Adopting a longitudinal approach, we show that living apart across borders is quite often a long-lasting arrangement for Congolese couples, as well as for their children. Results also show that reunification is not a one-way phenomenon: families also reunify in the origin country, when the migrants return. Results suggest that transnational families result from a mix of personal choices and structural constraints.
- family life