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…January 2016

Worldwide Migration & Falling Birth Rate
An ever-escalating 21st Century Phenomenon

immigration_scale_b.jpg Worldwide migration of people in the 21st century can be better understood in context with the dynamics of its eco-system; the planet as a whole. A migration in terms of specie evolution just as one would observe any other colonising specie in an ever-evolving eco-system. Thus, the migration (specifically, the immigration arguments), when stripped of all nationalistic biases and xenophobic tendencies, clearly show that Homo Sapiens is subject to the natural causes and effects underlining migratory evolution - just like any other specie with the distinction that (being the dominant specie), his migration evolution spans all corners of the globe (as it has always been, anyway). The 21st century cross-borders migration of people continues unabated and is occurring simultaneously in most countries with scant regards to national borders in spite of governments effort at immigration control. The international migration movement of our era is due to the effects of global environment changes, political, international finance and is fuelled by a stupendous technological innovations in all scientific and medical fields. In short, a furious globalisation process at work. The twenty-first century is often quoted as being the age of migration, essentially because there are more migrants in the world today than ever before — about 244 million international migrants in 2015. Yet, to observe from a detached and global point of view, man's phenomenal migration, as ONE SPECIE, is psychologically difficult because 21st Century Man is still locked in a tribal stage of evolution (racial & women discrimination and, nationalism - albeit on a decreasing scale).

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The study of migration of people in our modern era points to many reasons, but centers mostly on economic and welfare (well documented). However, what is less considered (or considered in isolation) is that Migration is part and parcel of a set of factors within an eco-system, namely:

1. Economics and Welfare (obviously)
2. The Laws of Demography - The fertility rate is the number of children a woman can expect to bear during her lifetime and 2.1 is a magic number because, it produces long-term equilibrium in the population - known as the replacement rate. The rate of falling fertility in the Western affluent economies is a major concern for policy makers. The role of immigration and worldwide falling birthrate are intimately linked.
3. And finally, an all-important factor; Climate Change, yet to be quantified and, which will play a very strong role in fuelling even more migration worldwide.

Demographic Time Bomb & The Immigration Factor - Coincidence or, Nature at Work

immigration_population_over_65.jpg Most of the developed world now has sub-replacement fertility levels and now depends largely on immigration for economic growth. The continuing trend of population ageing is a growing problem for welfare states capacity to meet the needs of their population. A number of nations today, stretching from North Asia (Japan) through Eastern and Western Europe, and into Central and Western Europe, along with Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, now face long-term population decline. immigration_asylum_cartoon.jpg Many nations in Western Europe today would have declining populations if it were not for international immigration. The total population of the continent of Europe (including Russia and other non-EU countries) peaked around the year 2000 and has been falling since 2004. Therefore, demography dictates that when deaths outnumber births, population decline is unavoidable unless immigration makes up the shortfall. As the working-age population drops and the numbers elderly rise, immigrants are brought in to sustain the economy, but it can prove destabilizing for the society and consequently, politically risky. Yet, the laws of demography cannot be ignored neither can they be stopped. Shrinking population and economy or more immigrants? A fundamental choice for policy makers for the 21st century.

Demographic situation across the world

Europe's population is projected to decline by 14%, and the continent is already facing challenges in providing care and support for a rapidly aging population (for example, the fierce resistance to raise the retirement age). By 2020, a quarter of Europeans will be over 60 years of age. Combined with low birth rates, this will bring about significant changes to the structure of European society, which will impact on the European economy, social security and health care systems, the labour market and many other spheres of our lives. However, economic experts, independent researches, the United Nations and the OECD clearly show that migration, if well managed, do play a positive role in the economy and notably that immigrants tend to pay more in taxes and social security contributions than they receive in individual benefits.

Germany is set to loose 5 million workers over the next 15 years, due principally to an ageing and shrinking population. To hammer the point: Germany has dropped below Japan to have not just the lowest birth rate across Europe but also globally, according to a report by Germany-based analysts. immigration_cartoon.jpg There are serious concerns about Germany's birth rate slump (now the lowest in the world) is creating labour market shortages that will damage the economy. Germany's falling birth rate means the percentage of people of working age in the country (between 20 and 65) would drop from 61% to 54% by 2030 (from a statement by Henning Voepel, director of the HWWI). In order to offset this shortage, Germany needs to welcome an average of 533,000 immigrants every year, which perhaps gives context to the estimate that 800,000 refugees are due to come to Germany in 2016.

In other countries such as France, the United Kingdom or Switzerland, the number of asylum seekers has so far not increased significantly. The United Kingdom received far fewer people than in the recent past; its peak year was 2002, with 100,000 applications (mostly from Iraq) compared to 31 200 in 2014. In France, the 2014 level (about 60,000 applications) is similar to those seen in 1989 and 2004-05 (mostly from Turkey, notably in 1989). Immigration also props up the fertility rate and Britain and France have received a similar fillip to its population growth as a result.

In Portugal, the population has been shrinking since 2010. For many analysts, the question now is how low can it go, with projections by the National Statistics Institute suggesting Portugal’s population could drop from 10.5 million to 6.3 million by 2060. According to prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho: “We've got really serious problems.... the next 10 to 15 years would be decisive in reversing the trend. If no action is taken, these issues will only be solved by a miracle." The EU’s Eurostat agency estimates that by 2050, Portugal will be the country in Europe that is home to the smallest proportion of children, with just 11.5% of the population expected to be under the age of 15. Toy shops and hundreds of schools are closing while petrol stations and motels are being converted into nursing homes. Coelho has called on the EU to make falling birthrates a priority in the next five years.

In non-European OECD countries, however, the pressure on asylum systems is not particularly strong. In Australia, following a series of measures to discourage illegal arrivals, the number of people seeking asylum fell below 10 000 in 2014 and is likely to remain below that level in 2015.

Low-fertility countries in Asia - 18 countries (out of 50) in Asia represented low-fertility countries (TFR of 2.1 or lower during 2005-2010). This represents 27.7 % of the world population and 45.9 % of the population of Asia. Only 3 countries in Asia (Japan, Singapore and Macao) had low fertility during 1975-1980, increasing to 8 countries during 1990-1995 and 18 during 2005-2010.

Japan - According to the Japanese immigration centre, the number of foreign residents in Japan has steadily increased, and the number of foreign residents (excluding few illegal immigrants and short-term visitors such as foreign nationals staying less than 90 days in Japan) were more than 2.2 million people in 2008. In 2010, the number of foreigners in Japan was 2,134,151. There were 209,373 Filipinos, 210,032 Brazilians, mostly of ethnic Japanese descent, 687,156 Chinese and 565,989 Koreans. immigration_japan_cartoon.jpg Of all these foreigners, 7.5% are spouses of Japanese nationals. Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans, and Brazilians account for about 69.5% of foreign residents in Japan. Polls in the past have shown that many Japanese people oppose immigration. However, a more recent poll conducted in 2015, by Asahi Shimbun (media), reported that 51 percent of the Japanese public support increased immigration while only 34 oppose it.

Some are calling for an "immigration revolution" but that is gaining little traction in a country that is seen as the most homogenous in the world. In Japan, birth rates are at records low and the ageing population at records high. The former head of Tokyo's Immigration Bureau, Hidenori Sakanaka, is calling for what many Japanese find unthinkable, large-scale immigration. "We need an immigration revolution to bring in 10 million people in the next 10 years, otherwise the Japanese economy will collapse." He said that it was now a case of "populate or perish" and Japan had to change its mentality.

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United States

The USA received a massive inflow of immigrants since the late 1970s which has thus kept America from tipping over the demographic cliff. Today, there are roughly 38 million people born outside the U.S. (two-thirds of them are on U.S. territory legally). Removed these immigrants and their relatively high fertility rates from the U.S. population and, suddenly the United States is on par with Europe, which has a fertility rate of 1.5. (below the replacement fertility rate of approximately 2.1.) The total fertility rate in the United States estimated for 2014 is 1.86 children per woman, which is below the replacement fertility rate. Compared to other Western countries, in 2012, U.S. fertility rate was lower than that of France (2.01), Australia (1.93) and the United Kingdom (1.92). However, U.S. population growth is among the highest in industrialised countries, because the shortfall due to falling fertility rates is made up by higher immigration levels. The United States Census Bureau showed a population increase of 0.75% for the period ending in July 2012 - although high by industrialised country standards, but still below the world average annual rate of 1.1%

The biggest distinction between the first-generation immigrant and native households, though, is not in benefits received, but, rather, in taxes paid. Because they usually earn lower incomes, first-generation immigrant households generally pay less in taxes at every age than natives. Their offspring—second generation immigrants—however, routinely pay more in taxes at every age than natives because they tend to remain in high-income states. When it's all added up, though, most long-run calculations show that immigrants make a net positive contribution to public coffers. Despite the decline in the immigration rate, many Americans still believe that immigration hurts U.S. workers and the economy. Immigrants are perceived as taking jobs away from native-born Americans and filling the rolls for public assistance without paying their share of taxes to replenish the kitty. Nothing could be further from the truth. A recent report prepared by a panel of economists and sociologists, and published by the National Research Council (NRC), shows that immigrants not only diversify the American economy, but also contribute to economic growth. And it is because they are different from natives that the economy as a whole profits. In many instances, immigrants both cause prices to fall, which benefits all consumers, and enable the economy to domestically produce a wider variety of goods than natives alone could. If immigrants weren't different from natives, they would only augment the population and the scale of the economy, but not have an effect on the overall growth rate of per capita income. As the NRC report shows, the overall effect immigration has on gross domestic product is between $1 billion and $10 billion a year. While these amounts may seem negligible in an $8 trillion economy (about one-eighth of 1 percent at most), they are still a gain—and not the drain many believe immigration to be.

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Over the past half-century the most profound influence upon the great majority of humankind has been the vast and gentle decline in the size of families. In 2014 (or thereabouts—such things are approximate) this huge change will reach a milestone. In the world’s most populous continent, Asia, the total fertility rate will fall to 2.1. The rate is the number of children a woman can expect to bear during her lifetime and 2.1 is a magic number because, if sustained, it produces long-term equilibrium in the population (it is known as the replacement rate). In 1960 Asia’s average fertility was 5.8. The exact point at which fertility reaches replacement cannot be known for sure. The United Nations Population Division thinks it will happen at some point during 2015-20. But Chinese demographers think the UN is significantly overestimating China’s fertility rate, so 2014 is a reasonable guess.



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2014 Worldwide Forced Migration

around the world for 2014 reached a record high of nearly 60 million

Roughly equalling the population of Italy or the UK


"We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before ....The drama
is that if people think that humanitarians can clean up the mess. It's no longer possible.
We have no capacities to pick up the pieces."

Antonio GuTerres
(UN HiGH Commissioner for Refugees)

Climate Change and Migration

Over the next few decades, climate change and the projected increase in global temperatures resulting in encroaching desertification in many dryland regions, there may be considerable migration of people to the North. • By 2020, an estimated 60 million people could move from the desertified areas of sub-Saharan Africa towards North Africa and Europe.
• By 2025, up to 2.4 billion people across the world may be living in areas subject to periods of intense water scarcity. This may displace as many as 700 million people.
• By 2050, 200 million people worldwide may be permanently displaced environmental migrants.

Demography & Migration

Population Métissage

Welcome New Citizens... Parallel to worldwide falling fertility rate is the scale of international migration, which over the last 50 years has been increasing rapidly and, now has become the primary driver of rapid changes in the demography of dozens of countries around the world. Assuming that current low fertility rates and high immigration rates will continue into the future (neither of which may be a good assumption over the long term) migration would become even more significant a determinant not only of overall national growth but of the ethnic and racial composition of most industrialised states.

In some countries, large and even majority groups within a population have shown an overall decline in numbers while the total population increases.

For example, Singapore has one of the world's lowest birthrates. The ratio of "original" Singaporeans versus "immigrant" Singaporeans continues to narrow, with originals decreasing in absolute figures, despite the country planning to increase the population by over 20% in coming years.

Another notable example is the United States. Hispanic and Latino Americans accounted for 48% of the national population growth of 2.9 million between July 2005 and July 2006. As of July 2014, people of Hispanic origin made up 17% of the nation's largest ethnic minority. A report by the U.S. Census Bureau projects a decrease in the ratio of Whites between 2010 and 2050, from 79.5% to 74.0% (other projections points to whites making up 43% of the total U.S. population by 2060). At the same time, Non-Hispanic Whites are projected to no longer make up a majority of the population by 2042, but will remain the largest single ethnic group. In 2050 they will compose 46.3% of the population. Many surveys have documented growing acceptance among the public towards interracial marriage. In 2014, 37% of Americans said having more people of different races marrying each other was a good thing for society, up from 24% four years earlier. Only 9% in 2014 said this trend was a bad thing for society, and 51% said it doesn't make much difference
(PEW Research Center, 2015).

United Kingdom - In London, more than 300 languages are now spoken, according to a recent academic study and the city is a multicultural melting pot that has earned itself a reputation as the most cosmopolitan city on Earth. With at least 50 non-indigenous communities larger than 10,000 people, one is never far from an enclave belonging to a specific nation – whether it's the Portuguese of Vauxhall, the Russians of Knightsbridge, the Poles of Acton or the French of South Kensington. immigration_queen.jpg During the 1970's, when the infamous Idi Amin of Uganda threw out all its Asians immigrants from Uganda, the UK offered the East African Asians a fairly generous official welcome and subsequently over a few short years they adapted and helped to transform British life by setting up small businesses - particularly the corner stores which stayed open in the evenings and weekends, long after the traditional shops closed. The following generation went on to be scientists, teachers, economists, MPs and prominent figures in British society. And so, far from diluting the "Britishness" of the UK, these immigrants rather contributed to an evolved "Britishness" encompassing the old and the new. The UK is becoming an example in terms of multi-culturism, multi-faith and with a high degree of inter-social new dynamics. Yet,this new multi-cultural society is still very much BRITISH and still unique. Yet, how to make sense of BREXIT, withdrawal from the European Union Referendum of 2016?
Read more on BREXIT....



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