On Migrants and Movement

, by SACSIS

There are currently about 200 million people living outside their countries of birth. Worldwide the rate of migration grew at six percent a year during the 1990s, a rate faster than population growth as a whole. Better opportunities for employment are among the main reasons people choose to migrate. According to the Pew Hispanic Centre, 11% of everyone born in Mexico is currently living the United States in search of better opportunities in the world’s biggest economy. At the same time, there are 11 million Filipinos outside the Philippines and their remittances alone contribute to 13% of the country’s GDP.
Estimates on the number of Zimbabweans in South Africa range from the somewhat hysterical eight million to the more realistic two million. Their remittances are credited with having kept the fraught Zimbabwean economy afloat for the last decade or so.
In the developed world, a major pull factor is aging populations combined with low-birth rates and longer life expectancy, causing a shortage of skilled people. For example, immigrants are increasingly filling healthcare posts. Developed economies have always needed workers from less developed economies.
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