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Despite the fact that the majority of the world population is now living in cities, our knowledge about urban emigration remains scant (Fussel and Massey ).
Theoretical frameworks have not clarified expectations for the interplay between urbanization and emigration.
We then present the retrospective survey data and methods, and describe net migration since 1990 across the rural–urban continuum, within the urban hierarchy and to and from the outside world.
First internal and international movements were investigated among adult children of household heads in a longitudinal and multivariate perspective.
Urbanization driven by rural-to-urban migration sustains socioeconomic development in less developed and transition countries through agglomeration economies and improved access to public services (World Bank ), sustained outflows may drain a country’s labor force and development potential.
Rural-to-urban migrants mainly moved to the capital, bypassing secondary cities, and were redirected abroad in the subsequent period of economic development.
It predicts that rural-to-urban migration accompanies the process of economic development, whereas emigration increases in the take-off phase but levels off at more advanced stages.
Yet the role played by social processes and spatial inequalities in development in the course of the mobility transition remains under-appreciated.
The interactions between the processes of urbanization and international migration in less developed and transition countries have important repercussions for socioeconomic development, but are not well understood.
Based on the retrospective data from the Albanian Living Standards Measurement Survey 2008, we first assess the geography of migration in terms of the rural–urban continuum, the urban hierarchy and the outside world since 1990.