How Does Immigration Help the Economy of Host Countries?

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The human species has been migrating since the dawn of time.

Many a millennium has passed since our cavemen days, but it’s still human instinct to move around in search of greener pastures.

Nowadays, people can’t roam the world as freely as they once did. The existence of frontiers and border security regulations has helped create a negative perception of immigrants.

However, immigration actually has a positive impact on host economies, and there is data to prove it.

Migrant workers quench and create demand

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that, in the last decade, migrants have accounted for a 47% increase in the US workforce and a 70% increase in Europe.

For occupations such as machine operating, assembling, maintenance and repair, migrant workers represent a 24% entry increase in Europe and a 28% increase in the US. Those who struggle with the language or have low education levels tend to focus on these manual labor industries that are often disregarded by natives.

But what happens to the many natives who also lack higher education? According to the Berkley Review of Latin American Studies, natives with similar education backgrounds take up jobs that require more communication skills like supervising or managing.

Immigrants are also high-level workers and business owners

While a third of immigrants never finished high school, another third possesses a college degree or higher. The 21st century has seen immigrants represent 31% of the increase in highly educated workers in Canada, 21% in the United States and 14% in Europe.  

Migrant workers also have a significant presence in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors, with international workers comprising 22% of new hires in the US and 15% in Europe.

Migrants fill gaps within both fast-growing and declining sectors of the economy, helping to garner more labor-market flexibility. And that’s not saying anything about the many immigrants who are business owners and employers.

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