Every year, million of people from across the globe move to some countries to which they are not native and settle there as a migrant worker or as a permanent citizen. These are Immigrants and these people leave their native countries because of various push (provoking them to leave their homes) and pull (alluring them into new lands) forces. Today, there are many stable and developed countries where a substantial population is of immigrants. While some of these countries have benefited from immigration, some countries are experiencing several problems to cope with the added population with their limited resources. So, let us have a look at some of the top countries where net immigration is the largest in the world and analyze the forces that motivate or compel millions of people to immigrate.
Pull and Push Factors Contributing To Immigration
Although a majority of people stays at a place close to their native country, a possibility of enjoying economic prosperity in a far-flung country acts as a pull force and immigration results. Countries like USA, Canada, Australia and UK all have a whopping number of net immigrants because of the higher wages, availability of the best educational institutes and most importantly, a better future.
Among these countries, USA alone has more than five million immigrants. Apart from its rich economy, freedom to allow any religion is a contributing factor that attracts many. As far as job opportunities are concerned, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom are the other nations that have attracted immigrants largely over the years. Due to better transportation facilities and consequently reduced travel time, millions of people from China, Spain, India, Poland, France, Portugal and Africa have immigrated and started working in these countries. Many even settled permanently and added a lot to the cultural diversity of these countries. The vibrant culture of economically prosperous countries also attracts many people who fall in love with these countries gradually.
Fast Growing, Oil-driven Economies
Oman and Saudi Arabia are the two notable countries with a growing economy driven by oil. They have a large number of immigrant populations. Oman has a fair workforce involving immigrants from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan while Saudi Arabia has immigrants from Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and other several countries. In fact, Oman has a long history of Indian immigrants due to its liberal policy of granting citizenship to the people of other countries and plenty of trading opportunities. An availability of plenty of stunning properties and a high-end lifestyle due to high wages has also attracted many to immigrate and live there forever.
Shortages of Skilled Workers
There is a wide gap between the demand for skilled workers and supply of the same in South Africa. The shortage is the most for trained English speaking teachers and medical professionals such as physicians and nurses. Therefore, it is not strange that the country has a 0.6 million of net immigrants who came in search of a job from countries like Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, and other African countries.
Civil Wars and Ethnic Persecution
Whenever there is a deliberate killing of people belonging to an ethnic group, the world witnesses an unprecedented mass immigration of people who cannot take prolonged violence any more. The high influx of immigrants in Turkey and Lebanon is only because of the continuing Syrian civil war. Both are located adjacent to the war-torn nation of Syria, where ethnic cleansing of minority ethnic groups has acted as a push force for the same to immigrate to neighboring nations offering a peaceful environment to survive. While in Turkey, there are two million people from Syria, in the West Asia country Lebanon, there are an approximate 1.2 million Syrian immigrants. Earlier, Lebanon has experienced a high influx of immigrants from Palestine.
Poor Job Opportunities
Due to bleak job opportunities, people of several under-developed countries willingly agree to do a low paid job and Germany with more than 1.2 million immigrants comes at the top among such countries. The high unemployment rate of more than 10% in Turkey has pushed millions of Turkish people over the years to immigrate and find a low paid job in Germany, a developed nation with a strong GDP. However, the case is a little different in Russia with more than 1.1 million immigrants from Belarus, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In Russia, a small population relative to its vast territory enables the people coming from neighboring countries to find a low paying job without any knowledge of an industry skill set. As most of these people belong to the former Soviet Union, they have a fair knowledge of Russian language. This helps them more to get a suitable job. South Sudan, an African country, also has a substantially higher number of immigrants due to an abundance of low paid work. Most of these immigrants are from Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda.
Immigration – An Inevitable Global Phenomenon
From the aforementioned facts, it has become clear that immigration of people from one place to another country is a global phenomenon. It is inevitable as it has been throughout the human history. Earlier, there was some restriction due to long distances to cover on foot, but with modern transportation, it is now easy to travel from the native country to another country for a better job opportunity, lifestyle or a peaceful environment to live happily. Many immigrants send money to their families back at the homeland while some move with their entire family for a better future. However, it is vital to put a check on ongoing civil wars or unrest that has forced millions to become immigrants. There is an urgent need of a conscious global effort to end poverty so that people remain happy in their native countries, and nobody has to travel to a distant land due to a poor standard of life. It is essential to remember that a sudden massive immigration due to war or collapse of a country’s economy has a fair chance of jeopardizing the economic growth of the country that faces the influx of immigrants, but again such occurrences often happen without adequate warning.