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Study Finds that Morocco Hosts More Europeans Than Sub-Saharans

Rabat – Although the public fuss about immigration in Morocco generally foregrounds sub-Saharan migrants, a recent survey by the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) has found that there are actually more European migrants in Moroccan workplaces.

The survey was conducted earlier this month and sought to collect substantial data to facilitate the integration and immersion of migrants in the professional opportunities available in the North African country.

According to HCP experts, the survey’s primary reason was to shed light on the demographic and economic profiles of migrants who choose to stay and work in Morocco.

“The objective was to comprehend the nature of migratory flows to our country, and assess their [migrants’] level of social and professional integration in Moroccan society,” HCP said in a statement made on March 28.

However, the report warned that, because the survey mostly concerned ordinary households, its conclusions may present some limits, as they “focused on the socio-economic and demographic profiles of migrants, not their number or volume.”

Within the parameters of its focus on “ordinary households,” the study found that compared to sub-Saharans, there are more Europeans established in Morocco. According to the study, Arabs represent 33.5 percent of the migrant populations in Morocco, and are also the kingdom’s largest migrant population. They are followed by Europeans (32.5 percent), and then sub-Saharans with 27.3 percent.

A recurrent pattern among different groups of migrants is the prevalence of males: “Regardless of their origins, the number of male immigrants is always higher,” HCP further said in its report, adding that six out of ten migrants in Morocco are men, representing roughly 59 percent of the migrant population in Morocco.

This pattern is even more striking when compared to other demographics: the study found that men represent 70.5 percent of sub-Saharan immigrants in Morocco, 56 percent of European immigrants and 54.2 percent of Arab immigrants.

 Why Migrate to Morocco?

The study found that the primary cause of migration to Morocco is the search for better economic and financial prospects. “With a ratio of 41.4 percent, the evidence suggests that economic conditions constitute the first motivation” for migrating to Morocco. Education constitutes the primary motivation of 34.1 percent of migrants (with 22.4 percent of migrants at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, and 11.7 percent in vocational schools). The remaining 24.5 percent listed political, social, or humanitarian motivations (e.g. undocumented or illegal immigrants, unaccompanied minors, refugees and asylum seekers).

 Big City Living, Service Sector Work

The vast majority of migrants live in cities (97.7 percent) and work essentially in the customer service sector (e.g. call centers). The study also found out that Casablanca-Settat, Rabat-Salé-Kénitra, and Marrakech-Safi are the most attractive destinations for migrants, as these regions are considered more foreigner-friendly areas with relatively open and welcoming social mores, and more possibilities for work.

Due to the professional qualifications of the majority of migrants, they reportedly face no major obstacles in the job market. “Migrants’ job prospects in Morocco are roughly the same as that of Moroccan natives,” HCP experts said.

They reported that 78.5 percent of migrants work in the service sector, whereas 18.1 percent are unemployed, and the remaining 3.4 percent work in the industrial and the handicrafts sectors.

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