Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Recent migration patterns in Europe

In a discussion thread attached to a post on "Fertility News" at Demography Matters, Edward Hugh points out some recent data on this subject. First,

"this week the figures for inward migration to Spain for 2006 were released, and surprisingly (perhaps, for some), there were only 13,000 migrants from Morocco, as compared with over 100,000 from Romania. Thus - and as forecast in this post - migration out of Morocco is now more or less done as fertility in Morocco steadily falls towards replacement level and the country starts to develop. Same case Turkey, despite all the preoccupations inside the EU about what might happen when Turkey becomes a member"

Since Romania is a member of the EU, it is not suprising that there has been significant migration relative to that from countries outside the EU, as migration within the EU is significantly easier than the alternative case. Also, the fact that developing countries' fertility rates are converging towards those of the developed world is important to remember and has a significant effect on the pool of potential migrants.

Edward also notes that
"Looking around the low fertility countries I am struck by some similarities which I see between four of them: Germany, Japan, Italy and Poland. All four of these have very low fertility, and all four of them are characterised by having had very conservative attitudes to family values, values which are then increasingly out of harmony with the aspirations of the newer generations of young women.Three of these countries are now suffering from protracted economic problems which only seem to contribute to sustaining the low fertility, while the fourth - Poland - is currently growing rapidly, but given the massive outflow of young people which has recently taken place, would seem - as I have argued in recent posts - to face imminent capacity problems which may well put a break on growth. As and when this takes place it will indeed be interesting to see what happens next."
The shift in fertility in countries that Edward mentions above took place without any kind of overt governmental "natalist" policy such as that implemented by China.

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