Research Reveals International Migration Will Flourish

International Migration

International Migration has always been a big topic of debate worldwide, with many different opinions about its pros and cons. Few other issues entice controversy like immigration, mostly since it raises pertinent questions about economics, demographics, politics, national security, culture, language and even religion. This is why it is essential to think beyond the rhetoric and understand the realities of international migration.

It is usually a hot topic during elections, especially in the developed countries. They intake thousands of migrants each year. Amongst them being skilled workers or those seeking refugee status. The issue of international migration is complex and unique. Besides being country-specific, migration impacts every region, town and village. Strangely enough, it is a global as well as local phenomenon.

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It is a fact that many developed countries around the world, have an evident need for a younger workforce. In reference to a research in 2013, 232 million people worldwide were living outside their country of birth. According to estimates by experts, a billion people permanently moved to another place of residence within their country of birth.

UNHCR announced that nearly 65.3 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced in 2015. UN also estimated their average resettlement waiting period to be about 17 years. The increasing international migration flows place a growing demand on the resources of host countries. However, reducing migration also has other drastic impacts.

A recent analysis of UN data by Fitch Ratings shows that stopping international migration would reduce the working population drastically in the G7 countries. The argument is that it will leave aging populations more dependent on a smaller workforce. Which will result in a greater financial stress on pension systems. The G7 are the world’s richest countries comprising of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US.

Under the UN’s bast case scenario, with current immigration levels being maintained until the year 2050, followed by a steady reduction of half by 2100, Canada’s potential workforce will be boosted by 11 percent. However, stopping these immigration inflows will see the workforce crumble by 43 percent during the same period. Other G7 countries face similar dilemmas.

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Without new migrants, the US would face a 16 percent reduction in its working age population by the end of the century and UK will see a 20 percent drop. While it’s almost impossible to suggest a total ban, UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May plans to cut annual inward migration to one-third of current levels. Across the Atlantic, President Donald Trump has promised to overhaul the US immigration system. So, he has promised to take steps to crackdown on certain work visas and deport illegal immigrants.

The Fitch Ratings data further reveals that from 2015 until 2020, India alone will account for nearly 30 percent of the global increase in people of working age. While the migration debate is usually more emotional than practical, the fact remains that many developed countries, including the US and UK will rely heavily on consistent immigration in the coming years, to avoid declines in their working-age populations.