Migration Benefits And Drawbacks
This is just the introduction to one of the many essay`s I`ve had to write for my A level Geography class.
Date : 09/05/2012
Migration is defined as the movement of one person (migrant) between two places for a certain period of time. There are lots of different types of migration, as well as different reasons. The first two types are in the category of internal; one is in-migration, and this is when people move into an area, usually from a rural area to a city. The main reasons for this is usually to find work, or to get a better taste of city life, because it is nearer to clubs, bars and restaurants, and these are both pull factors. Rural life could be quite boring; with little opportunity of making new friends, and these are push factors. Out-migration is when people move out of the area, usually from city to rural areas. The main reasons for this is usually because rural areas provide much wanted peace and quiet, have bigger houses and have more space. These are pull factors. Also the city might be quite a dirty, loud place with not much opportunity to relax and these are push factors. There are two types of international migration, and these are immigration (people moving into a country) and emigration (people moving out of a country). People can move about internationally for reasons such as work and to achieve a better lifestyle because of better weather and living conditions, but internationally can also be things such as seeking asylum in other countries because of war, or because of a natural disaster in your home country. Most migration is voluntary, such as people moving to Spain for retirement, or for work, but some migration can be forced, and this happened between the late 16th century and the early 19th century when Africans were sent to the Caribbean in the slave trade. It's also forced when people are expelled from their home countries due to a difference in political opinions. The UK's population is comprised of 9% ethnic minority, and around 150,000 immigrants every year enter the country to find work. In the UK, there are many different types of ethnicities that enter our population, but not many do people think about in a good light. The most common immigrants to come over to the UK are the Polish, Lithuanian's, Portuguese, Irish, Indian's, South African's and Pakistani's. However, we often don't think of the Australian's, Americans and Canadians that come to our country every year as immigrants, as they are usually quite high earners and they live in good housing with expensive cars. For this essay, I am going to use the Polish as a case study. In 2004, Poland along with 7 other countries joined the EU, and this meant that they were able to live and work in any other country that was part of the EU. In 2005, two-thirds of all migrants were from Poland. So why do Polish people come to the UK to work? Wages are generally quite low in Poland, even on the low income in the UK, they earn almost five times as much allowing them to save for a house or start a business when back at home. One in 5 Poles were unemployed in 2004 so most Polish people jump at the chance to come here, and a survey showed that only 22% of Polish people in Britain wanted to stay here long term, the rest were just to work. Migration from Poland to the UK had many benefits on the UK, the most important being that it improved the country. The UK was suffering from an ageing population at the time, and was very worried about its future. Bringing Polish people in to work, increased the work force which increased the amount of taxes being paid, and this also eased the pension worry. Labour gaps were filled as many British people simply aren't willing to do the small, low wage earning jobs such as picking and washing vegetables on a farm for 12 hours a day, whereas most Eastern European people are hard workers, and they are more than happy to do these kinds of jobs, and as they are hard workers, jobs are completed more efficiently, making more money for the business and improving Polish reputation. Polish people in the UK meant that the culture of the country could begin to grow as the population was diversified. Polish businesses are beginning to crop up in larger cities such as London and Birmingham, and this sometimes actually regenerates the area as building new business' and attracting more people can make the government want to better the area or make other people want to do up the area (gentrification). Also, supermarkets like Tesco's have brought out ranges of Polish food, and this means they make more money as Polish people will buy it, as well as the locals who want to try out new food. Migration from Poland to the UK also has many benefits for Poland, the most important in this case being that money is pumped into their economy, which increases the quality of living of people living there. Usually, young Polish men aged 18-29 are the ones to work, and they send money home to their families, wives and children. It can also improve the links between the countries whether that is trading, cultural or educational and this is helped along by language skills being improved, and taking back skills and culture. (This can be seen particularly in Asian Culture, and you can see that by Indian's and Pakistani's moving to this country, we have radio stations, television programmes, cooking programmes and of course curry and other spicy dishes influenced by their presence). It decreases the population of Poland, which at first sight seems a bad thing, however it reduces the proportion of unemployed people, reduces the amount of people who could potentially receive benefits due to being 'on the dole' and reduce stress on resources for that country. It could also reduce crime rates as a high unemployment rate is usually linked with a high crime rate. It can make women more independent and want to go and get small jobs if they are left by their husbands. Migration, as thought by most people can have many cons on the host country. The most important in my opinion is culture clashes and racism. A lot of British people have misconceptions about immigrants, with popular beliefs that they are paid for with our tax money, that they take our jobs and some people are just racist and don't like anyone that is different, and this can sometimes cause prejudice in a neighbourhood or the workplace. Even though there are a lot more people to fill labour gaps, there is still a shortage of teachers and nurses in this country which low skilled Polish people can't fill. Aside from this, Polish people can sometimes undercut local workers who want jobs, only because Polish people mostly accept lower wages. However, this is where other nationalities come into play, because the UK goes on big recruitment drives in India for doctors, South Africa for nurses and European countries for teachers, as they are all good English speakers, and very good at their jobs as their work ethic is mostly better than the British because they have to want it more to achieve in life. Another con is that Polish people can claim child benefits and family allowance tax, which decreases our economy as well as money being leaked out because it is being sent back to Poland. Language teachers most likely have to be employed due to the large number of non English speaking children going to our schools, and this can sometimes put stress on teachers who don't speak Polish, because how can you teach someone who doesn't speak the same language? More people in the UK can put a strain on services and resources, and this can lead to more conflict between cultures. Poland gets quite a good deal out of workers moving to the UK; however there are some bad points (even though they aren't as bad as the UK's in my opinion). The most important is a loss of economically active people and a shortage of key workers, and this can decrease Poland's economy and as they have less builders and low paid workers, Poland may stop developing. Also bringing down Poland's economy is the GDP will decrease, so less money is put into the Polish shops and businesses. Birth rate may decrease as there are fewer men around (also creating a gender imbalance) and this is bad because Poland is already in danger of going into stage 5 of the DTM, so if anything birth rate needs to increase to ensure the future of the country is prosperous. Whilst bringing back British cultures and traditions may seem like a good thing, it can actually dilute the culture and traditions of rural Poland. People may put more emphasis on speaking English, especially learning it in school, putting less emphasis on the Polish languages. Also with more English food and shops cropping up everywhere, it just puts more strain on Polish culture to stick around. Divorce rate may also decrease because of a strain on marriages going long distance, even though the point may have originally been to secure the family a better life by getting more money. Poland joining the EU was actually a good move for Poland as it meant that more than 300,000 Poles would end up staying in the UK to work permanently, and this gave many Poles better lifestyles than they would have had staying in Poland. I think the benefits to the host country of the UK also outweigh the negative points, as I think filling in labour gaps and improving the work force of Britain are more important that things like language barriers and a strain on services. In 5 years time, 60% of Polish people who have migrated will not return as employment prospects here are too good to turn away, especially for those who have integrated their children in Polish schools. If their jobs earn them more money, and they have a stable home and family supported in the UK, why would they need to go back home? However, many migrants miss Poland greatly and struggle on daily life in the UK as it is so different. Most migrants will struggle with the emotional baggage of leaving their home country, but it is the decision they must face to increase their economic prosperity.
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