The word “migration” usually evokes more negative associations than positive. People naturally feel endangered by foreigners coming into their countries—immigrants— because the newcomers could take their jobs or could change their culture. On the other hand, those who are moving to a new place—emigrants–are scared from the unknown and unexpected.
Migration, in fact, is not necessarily a bad thing. In an article at news.bbc.co.uk,
by Dr. Marlou Schrover, history department, Leiden University, Netherlands, he explains:
“Fear of migrants rests upon the fear of change, and especially changes to culture. Culture is, however, not a fixed concept.
Cultures change continuously over time. The cultures as we know them today are the result of centuries of migration. “
In addition to the cultural diversity immigrants contribute to, they are often willing to work jobs that natives wouldn’t work—at lower salaries. They also bring in healthy, fresh ideas and experience.
Emigrants inevitably experience cultural shock when they move to another country. Overall, however, emigration is good for these folks keeping in mind that they are leaving their home lands for a reason–to improve their standards of living or to escape from unemployment, misery, war, etc.
Here are some major facts about migration below from globalissues.com:
- Worldwide, there is an estimated 191 million immigrants;
- The last 50 years has seen an almost doubling of immigration;
- 115 million immigrants live in developed countries;
- 20% (approximately 38 million) live in the US alone, making up 13% of its population;
- 33% of all immigrants live in Europe;
- 75% live in just 28 countries;
- Women constitute approximately half of all migrants at around 95 million;
- Between 1990 and 2005
- There were 36 million migrations (an average of approximately 2.4 million per year);
- 33 million wound up in industrialized countries;
- 75% of the increases occurred in just 17 countries;
- Immigration decreased in 72 countries in the same period;