BACKGROUND In recent years, large numbers of migrants have attempted to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Italy plays a central role as a receiving country, particularly because of its relative proximity to the coast of North Africa. OBJECTIVE This paper investigates the trajectories of migrants from their entry into a refugee centre to their departure, with evidence on the timing of the departure decision. METHODS Using 2008–2014 data from a reception centre for refugees and asylum seekers located in Calabria (Italy), we use survival analysis tools to explore the timing and reasons for departure from the centre. RESULTS We find large variation in migrant inflows, with peaks associated with political crises and wars in certain countries. There are substantial differences in outflows between groups of countries, in both the timing and reasons for departure. CONCLUSIONS Our results provide a better understanding of migrants’ trajectories from a reception centre in Italy. They show that a huge number of migrants leave the centre voluntarily. CONTRIBUTION Overall, our study contributes to knowledge of displaced migrants, providing detailed empirical evidence on migrants’ trajectories.
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