Geography Unit 1: Essay Exam Question

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  • Created by: Tasleem
  • Created on: 12-01-13 22:43

Explain the benefits and problems that economic migrants can bring for a) the host country and b) the source country - (15 marks)


In 2005, there were 191 million international migrants . The increase in migration over the last 30 years is mainly due to economic globalisation. Many people move to other countries with better oppurtunities for work. It has been noticed that it is the educated and skilled people from source nations who are moving to host nations seeking better jobs at higher incomes. The poorer people prefer to stay local unless for safety reasons they are moved as an asylum seeker.

Voluntary international migrants are more willing to work for lower wages and longer hours than local workers in host nations. In 2002 the UK government expanded its Highly Skilled Migrant Programme with the intention to attract the most educated foreign workers, fill skill shortages, attract lower-skilled migrants for hard to fill job vacancies, and to balance the UKs ageing population. With the advances in technology and globalisation, more IT skilled and business minded people are needed to stay on top.

The major benefit on source nations from migration is the remittances that are sent back home. However, as the migrants are usually the skilled and educated people, the source nation is left in a brain drain and this slows down the coutries development. Also, now that companies are moving their production units to developing countries, this has created job oppurtunities in those countries and they have less reason to migrate. For example, Morrocan textile workers no longer mirgate to France as most companies send their work to Morroco to be produced where labour is cheap.

One benefit on the host nation from immagaration is to balance their ageing population. Spain has a low fertility rate and the government is concerned that this will lead to a Spain having trouble building a workforce effecient enough to run the country in the future. It therefore encourages migration of both skilled and unskilled workers. 65% of the immigrants in Spain are young adults so they can contribute to the Spanish economy.

Spain also needed immigrants because there was a need for people to do jobs that were dirty, difficult or dangerous so the local people of Spain did not want to do them. Spain welcomed seasonal migrators to work


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