The Choice: More Immigrants or Fewer Citizens?

The Choice: More Immigrants or Fewer Citizens? YaleGlobal. Joseph Chamie. March 4, 2013.

Low fertility rates among countries lead to population decline and higher proportions of older citizens. So the countries with such demographics face a choice: allowing more immigrants, along with the revenue, services and cultural influences they bring or accepting the population decline and economic contraction. “Currently, about 76 countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Iran, Sweden, Thailand and Vietnam, have fertility rates below the replacement level, representing close to half of the world’s population,” explains demographer Joseph Chamie. To stabilize their populations, countries with lower birthrates must admit greater numbers of immigrants. For many developed countries, immigration represents the bulk of population growth. Chamie points out that “Many of those migrating today are ethnically, religiously and culturally different from the populations of the receiving countries, boosting anxiety about integration and cultural integrity and fears about ethnic conflict.” Demographers present the warning signs, and governments have plenty of time to draft sensible policies that could minimize uncertainty, resentment and instability. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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