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Migrations to Europe after the Second World War

The experience of the nurses coming to the Netherlands from Suriname in the 1950s was only one example of the extensive migration to Europe after the Second World War. These migrations were driven by economic factors and by the changed circumstances after the end of the European empires. 

Migrants came to the Netherlands from many other parts of the former Dutch empire as well as from Suriname. From 1948 onwards large numbers of migrants came to Britain from the West Indies, especially from Jamaica. In the 1960s thousands of 'pieds noirs' returned to France from Algeria. In Spain and Portugal there was a substantial inflow of migrants from their former colonies in Africa. 

In the United States in the 1950s and 1960s there was large scale migration from the Deep South to the industrial cities in the North. In post war West Germany the so called 'Economic Miracle' attracted many thousands of guestworkers from Turkey and Yugoslavia. In recent decades immigration to Europe has accelerated. Economic migrants and asylum seekers have started to establish themselves in most European countries.  

 

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