With a population of 2 million, The Gambia is one of Africa's smallest countries. Despite its size, migration plays a significant role in Gambian society. Overseas remittances of an estimated 118,000 Gambians living abroad account for over 20 per cent of the country's GDP, while rural-to-urban migration has led to increasing urbanization. Over the past few years, the pursuit for socioeconomic advancement—especially among the youth—has driven many to undertake irregular migration with the aim of reaching Europe. Over 35,000 Gambians arrived in Europe by irregular means between 2014 and 2018, with many others in Africa along the Central Mediterranean Route opting for voluntary return.
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