Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Demography is Depressing for Central Europe - 6th August 2003, 23.06

To complement Emmanuel's article below on demography, here is a more local study from a German bank looking at the effects of immigration form the accession countries and possible entrants over the next fifty years. The inflow will provide relief for the stagnating populations of western Europe as the skilled young move in to increase their income. The first wave is estimated to be on the order of three to five million.

Deutsche Bank Research, in a report this week, says current EU members, especially Germany and Austria, could attract as many as 200,000 people a year from Eastern Europe over the coming 10 to 12 years. After that, the number of migrants will fall, but could remain as high as 75,000 people a year for the next 50 years.

Deutsche Bank's predictions are in line with other migration studies. The International Organization for Migration last year concluded in a study that anywhere from 3 million to 5 million people from the accession countries would move to Western Europe by 2020.

One can predict two consequences for this: a vicious spiral of demographic decline for central and eastern Europe offset by subsidies form the European Union. Secondly, most of the early arrivals will head for those countries that have not put any obstacles in their way: Britain, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. There may be two distinct patterns of immigration in the next two decades: Eastern Europeans and Russians move to Northern Europe and the British Isles; North Africans, Arabs and Africans settle in the Mediterranean nations.


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