The Speaker
Monday, 20 May 2024 – 22:30

The movement of people towards Europe is increasing rapidly – here’s why

The movement of people towards Europe has increased drastically in the last few years. A couple of very important factors intertwine in justifying this rapid increase – along with globalisation, the trend-shift into a knowledge-first society has contributed immensely to the facilitation of highly skilled workers’ movement within Europe’s borders.

In the EU, a radical demographic change and an overall increasingly more competitive global economy has attracted migrants looking for better opportunities, especially those with a higher education.

Towards the end of the 2010s it is estimated that around 258 million people live in a country different from the one they were born in.
To grasp a sense of just how staggering this figure is, is worth noting that at the turn of the century the number of people living in another country other than that of their birth was around 175 million.
There are many reasons for this increase in the migratory flux of people. The most common can be better employment opportunities or self-preservation in the case of people fleeing from a war zone or natural disasters, just to name a couple.

As Europe has seen this increase in the number of mobile EU and non-EU people, the agenda of the European Commission has adjusted accordingly, giving more and more importance to this subject, labelling it “high priority”.

The map linked below focuses on the skill level of workers who decided to move from their country of birth mainly because knowing which countries host the most highly skilled and low skilled migrants can be an indicator of the perception of a particular country in the collective imagination.

We aimed to understand which countries were looking to take in more skilled workforce and which were less inclusive of foreign workers. We discovered that Poland, for instance, has a higher proportion of skilled migrants than the UK. France is the host country for the most low-skilled migrants, and, in terms of raw numbers, the UK is still presently the desired destination for most of the migrant workforce, with Germany as a close second.

Moreover, 67% of the population living in Ireland but not born in any EU state are highly skilled, which is an indicator of the Irish government’s efforts to make it easier for any non-EU citizen to work legally for an employer.

An interactive map displaying this information and more can be found by clicking the link below.

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Nicola Clothier is CEO of Accurity GmbH, a Swiss-based employment service provider. Nicola has an Honours degree in English Literature from Stirling University and more than 20 years’ experience in Swiss employment, and personnel leasing up to executive level throughout Europe.


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