Mov­ing on out

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - R.AGE - by KARin ZeiTvOGel

IF YOUNG peo­ple could move any­where, they’d choose Ja­pan, Singapore and other de­vel­oped coun­tries, a study showed re­cently.

That would be good news for the two Asian coun­tries, which have the fastest-age­ing pop­u­la­tions and low­est fer­til­ity rates in the world, the Gallup polling agency, which con­ducted the study, said.

But most de­vel­oped Asian coun­tries would lose a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of their most ed­u­cated peo­ple in a brain-drain, said the study, which cal­cu­lated coun­tries’ net mi­gra­tion in­dexes.

Gallup cal­cu­lated in­dexes for the over­all pop­u­la­tion, youth pop­u­la­tion and brain gain or drain by sub­tract­ing the num­ber of peo­ple who said they would like to move out of a coun­try from those who said they wanted to move in.

The in­dexes were based on polls con­ducted by Gallup of 350,000 adults in 148 coun­tries.

Ja­pan’s pop­u­la­tion of ed­u­cated peo­ple would de­cline by 13% if ev­ery­one who wanted to leave did; South Korea’s and Hong Kong’s brain drains would cut their pop­u­la­tion of ed­u­cated peo­ple by nearly 30%, and Tai­wan would lose a third of its brainy folk, the study found.

Just like last year, Singapore would buck the trend and see its over­all pop­u­la­tion triple if ev­ery­one who wanted to move there were al­lowed to.

It would also see its pop­u­la­tion of ed­u­cated peo­ple quadru­ple and the num­ber of young peo­ple in­crease six-fold, the Gallup poll found.

But in the over­all mi­gra­tion scheme of things, de­vel­oped coun­tries in Asia came out at the bot­tom of the scale in the in­dex, with a net pop­u­la­tion gain of just one per­cent and a brain-drain of 16%.

Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Ocea­nia came out tops. Their pop­u­la­tions would more than dou­ble, their youth pop­u­la­tions would nearly quadru­ple and the num­ber of brainy peo­ple would in­crease by 186%.

The United States and Canada, both coun­tries that many im­mi­grants would like to set­tle in, would also see net pop­u­la­tion, brain and youth gains if ev­ery­one who wanted to move to the two North Amer­i­can coun­tries could.

But an es­ti­mated four mil­lion Latino adults in the US, or one in seven of the US His­panic pop­u­la­tion, would leave the coun­try per­ma­nently if they had the op­por­tu­nity, Gallup said.

A slim ma­jor­ity said they would move to a Latin Amer­i­can coun­try, and nearly a third said they would re­lo­cate to Mex­ico.

Mean­while, as many as 35 mil­lion young peo­ple in Latin Amer­ica said they wanted to em­i­grate. The pre­ferred des­ti­na­tion for young Lati­nos aged 15-29 is the US.

Three Euro­pean coun­tries that are not mem­bers of the Euro­pean Union – Ice­land, Nor­way and Switzer­land – would see their over­all pop­u­la­tions and the num­ber of highly ed­u­cated peo­ple more than dou­ble if would-be mi­grants could move any­where they wanted.

The three coun­tries could use an in­flux of young peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to the study, which could not come up with a youth-mi­gra­tion score for them be­cause the sam­ple size of young­sters had dropped be­low 500. — AFP

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