Migration and the Europe of the Old Core

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I just read an article posted at New Geography that discusses recent migration patterns in the countries of the European Union, and for anyone familiar with current demographic trends, there certainly won’t be any surprises. Overall, the “Heart of Europe” (the original EU nations) have experienced the highest rates of immigration since 2005, owing mostly to increased economic and social development compared to more recent additions to the group. It goes without saying, that people by and large migrate to improve employment opportunities and better their quality of life, hence the higher levels of migration to EU-15 countries.

Much of Western and Eastern Europe, in particular Romania and Lithuania, have experienced the opposite trend as more and more people move towards Central Europe for the above mentioned reasons. In some cases, these countries have seen a negative net migration rate equaling as high as 10 percent of the total population since 2005. These are staggering numbers and indicate significant discrepancies between measures of globalization for these regions and that of the European Heartland. These problems are only further amplified by the continuously decreasing fertility rates in the Core.

As the visual below shows, however, even Central Europe is experiencing an overall decrease in immigration in recent years. Economic growth has caused these countries to experience a higher rate of immigration than elsewhere, but this economic strength has been weakening somewhat due to the recent economic downturn. This change has been highlighted by the gradual reduction in migration numbers below.

Source: New Geography.

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