Will the societies benefit from migration in 21st century?
Even though there is not a reliable data on immigration to forecast, immigration is expected to continue to be one of the main drivers of the population growth in the future, particularly in Western Europe (Coleman, 2008). When the main reasons of the immigration in the last century are analysed, it is not hard to understand that the motivations of the host countries and immigrants were quite different between each other. For instance, in 1970s economic motivations had been the major reason why people wanted to immigrate in Europe, resulting in a predominantly male immigrant profile. However, in recent decades approximately 75% of the net immigration flows have mainly been related to dependants, students, asylum-seekers, spouses as a result of arranged marriages (Coleman, 2008). On the other hand, primary goals of the host countries have generally based on the macroeconomic factors and the need for alteration in the demographics. Apart from the reasons of the immigration, there are a lot of social, economic and demographical impact of immigration on the societies. Some of the consequences tend to yield positive results while some of them create tension and non-peace, and even lead to emigration of the natives.
As aforementioned, macroeconomic requirements seem to form the ultimate reason why most of the developed countries benefit from the net immigration. There is an obvious fact that most of the developed countries have low fertility and low mortality rates which eventually lead to aged population (Hugo, 2011). Ageing of the population creates a high demand for the labour work force. This is simply because sufficient number of young population needs to work in order governments to have enough sources to fund pension liabilities. Accordingly, it would be interesting to know had not the population aging been a demographic issue, would developed countries still be willing to accept the same number of immigrants?
Immigrants will not only financially compensate the negative economic impact of the ageing population, but they will also help the populations in host countries to grow. Based on the researches made, it is contemplated that only few countries in Europe namely France, the UK and Norway would still have some level of population growth between 2008 and 2055 without the positive impact of immigration. Population growth or at least maintaining the existing population levels effectively mean bigger scale of economies for the countries (Coleman, 2008).
Low income countries, comprising the major source of the immigrants in high income countries, tend to have higher fertility and higher mortality rates compared to those of in high income countries (Hugo, 2011). Therefore, immigration of these people helps the fertility rates to increase in high developed countries which also contributes to the population growth (Coleman, 2008).
In order to understand another significant economic contribution of immigrants to the society, one should consider the loose policies of US governments in relation to the illegal status of large number of Mexican immigrants. Why do American governments not bother to chase and deport these people? One of the things to consider first would be that these immigrants provide low cost of labour in the service industry along with their high productivity rates. This offering decreases the sales price of certain goods and services which ultimately ends up being in favour of the general society. On the other hand, US governments limit the white-collar job opportunities for foreigners and strategically aim to select the skilled work force (e.g. Indian engineers).
While immigrants have generally positive impact on the economies and societies, there also certain issues associated with the significant number of immigrants. The biggest problem has been