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Economics drives global immigration flows

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“After years of declining immigration flows, most industrialized countries are opening their doors to foreign workers again. The idea is to address labor shortages, while keeping an eye on the problems arising from population aging. Immigration, however, is unlikely to provide a long-term solution.

As confirmed by a recent OECD report, migration to most rich countries – especially Europe and Japan – is picking up. Japan’s foreign population has increased by 17% between 1996 and 1998, while 82% more immigrants settled in France in 1998 than in 1996. Although foreign nationals make up less
than 10% of the population in most OECD countries, the proportion is much higher in Luxembourg (35.6%), Australia (23.4%), Switzerland (19%) and Canada (17.4%).”