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Internal migration and adult sex ratio imbalances: The impact of rural out-migration on female scarcity in East Germany

Matthias Rosenbaum-Feldbrügge, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Nico Stawarz
Uta Brehm, Federal Institute for Population Research
Nikola Sander, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

Imbalanced adult sex ratios (ASRs) have strong implications for human behaviour, such as relationship formation and stability. If sex ratios at birth are balanced, imbalanced ASRs at the regional level tend to be driven by sex-selective internal migration. Rural East Germany has one of the highest male to female sex ratios in Europe, making it an ideal case study to explore the demographic factors contributing to imbalanced ASRs. This paper aims to provide an in-depth assessment of the degree of female scarcity in East Germany across time, cohorts and regions using a detailed time series of population exposure data by single years of age and sex at the level of 16 federal states for the period 1982 to 2018. This is fol-lowed by an evaluation of the role of sex-selective internal migration in driving imbalanced ASRs at the regional level using annual county-level migration flow data by age and sex. Our results indicate that, contrary to previous findings, female scarcity is not primarily been driven by sex-selective migration from East to West Germany following reunification in 1990. We highlight the important role that sex-selective rural-urban migration among young adults plays in shaping adult sex imbalances.

Keywords: Internal migration, Gender, Age structure

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 99. Migration Patterns: Internal and International