Today, the United Nations published a report showcasing 232 million people are living outside their country of origin. This means that 3.2% of the world’s total population have moved to live and work in another country. Reasons given for this is for migrants to find work in this harsh economic times. Europe has found to be the most popular destination for migrants, with 72 million international migrants in 2013. It was also found that despite the world consisting of 200 countries, half of all migration takes place in just 10 countries.
UN Undersecretary General: Important Contribution to Social and Economic Development
The report showed that the UK is the fifth highest number of any country where migrants choose to live and work. There is an estimated 7.8 million migrants in the UK.
Wu Hongbo, UN Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, commented on the importance of migration to any country:
“Migration, when governed fairly, can make a very important contribution to social and economic development both in the countries of origin and in the countries of destination,’ said Wu Hongbo, UN undersecretary general for economic and social affairs. Migration broadens the opportunity available to individuals and is a crucial means of broadening access to resources and reducing poverty.”
On the flip-side, British people are the biggest exports, as the report shows that 5 million British born individuals have emigrated. The total number of Brits living abroad increased by 23% from 4.1million in 1990 to five million 2013. Australia was found to be the most popular destination, with 1.2 million Brits choosing the country to reside in, ahead of the US with 758,919 and Canada with 674,371. This of course contradicts the argument that migrants come to the UK and take jobs away from British workers.
60% British Graduates believe Immigration has Benefited UK Economy
Earlier this year, the British Social Attitudes Survey revealed that Londoners are more welcoming of migrants, as they believe migrants are good for the UK economy. 3,000 Brits participated in the survey conducted by NatCen Social Research .According to the survey, 60% of British born graduates believe that immigration has benefited the UK economy. 17% of those who hold no qualifications share the same view. It was also found that 54% of Londoners think that migration has a positive impact on the economy, in comparison to 28% of Brits elsewhere in the UK.
The survey also showed that the majority of Brits believe migrants come to the UK to work, whilst a quarter believe it is to claim benefits. Although, it is true that one of the major reasons people come to the UK is to work, people fail to see the positive. The misconception of migrants coming to the UK to work, is that they cause unemployment and depress wages. In 2013, 214,000 migrants came to the UK to work, but in contrast 186,000 British nationals left the UK to work overseas. The effects are minor, as found by the Office of Budget Responsibility, migrants reduce the pressure on the public finances as they are less likely to claim benefits and more likely to pay taxes that the average UK citizen.
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