World Migration Report

The latest study from the International Organization For Migration has been released. I'll have a more detailed look later, but some interesting snippets that we may not see as headlines in the Daily Mail or as soundbites from Migrationwatch. How often we hear people saying how full we are, how we're a small island and how we are the soft touch. There's nothing new in my initial thoughts but it's worth repeating to counter-balance the doom merchants and bigots.

The report bases itself on figures from 2005, which, in my opinion gives it greater weight than say a report claiming to be more current.

  • Germany, host to 10.1 million migrants in 2005, is the principal country of destination,[in Western Europe] followed by France (6.5 million), the U.K. (5.4 million), Spain (4.8 million) and Italy (2.5 million).
Using figures from Wikipedia, and allowing for disputes over the complete accuracy of the data, we can see that, as never advertised in the likes of the Mail, sun and Express, Germany has almost double the amount of migrants as this country whilst only having a population of around 82 million compared to about 60.5 million UK inhabitants.Moreover, France, often seen as having the upper hand in EU matters posts a higher figure than us with only a slight difference in population (64.4 million).
  • The ten countries reviewed.......... all show positive rates of growth in the stock of migrants from 2000 to 2005, with Spain and Italy recording the most important increases of 194.2 per cent, or 3.1 million migrants, and 54.1 per cent, or 884,000 migrants, respectively.
This compares the situation in 2005 with 2000. It may well be argued that Italy was due an increase, starting as it did from a low base, but whilst statistics are not the be all and end all of the debate, they are interesting nonetheless.

Of course, as recent studies have shown the position is subject to change as economic factors kick in - as seen with the recent return of Eastern Europeans such as Poles to their homelands as the weak pound and increased costs hit hard.

the fact remains though that the population of Europe is ageing. This fact is often glossed over, or used by the right-wing to incite panic over changing culture due to higher birth rates among non-white ethnic groups. The study finds - allowing for the fact that it covers other non-EU states - that there will continue to be a source of labour in the developing nations and,
  • In the absence of international migration, population in developed countries
    aged 20-64 may be expected to decline by 23% from 741 million to 571 million by 2050.
As I said, this report invites further study.

The Mail did come up with an immigration story yesterday, but this was merely another of its 'fear' pieces about another Sangatte: