Migrants and Citizens

When it comes to inequality, birthplace is destiny. In 2012, researchers at the World Bank determined that no less than 50% of our lifetime income is determined by the country we live in — which, for 97% of us, is also the country we were born in. It’s a citizenship lottery – and those of us lucky enough to be born in wealthy states are automatic winners.

In one recent report on low-skilled immigration, the Government’s own Migration Advisory Committee pointed out that ‘a firm can expect a visit from HMRC inspectors once in every 250 years and expect to be prosecuted once in a million years. Such enforcement effort hardly provides an incentive to abide by the national minimum wages’.

Researchers from the US have similarly concluded that ‘broad reductions in violent crime during recent years are partially attributable to increases in immigration’. In the UK, immigrant “enclaves” – defined as neighbourhoods where at least 30% of the residents are immigrants – have lower levels of crime and victimisation than similar socio-economic areas without a large immigrant presence.

Swedish workers working for firms recruiting labour migrants earn on average 10.5% more than those working in firms that don’t.

Emigration is not a one-way flow: Western citizens leave their home countries too. Today, at least 5.6 million British citizens live permanently abroad.

Emigration is not a one-way flow: Western citizens leave their home countries too. Today, at least 5.6 million British citizens live permanently abroad.

Emigration is not a one-way flow: Western citizens leave their home countries too. Today, at least 5.6 million British citizens live permanently abroad.

We are 6 times more likely to migrate across a country than a border. Most of us, if we move at all, do so within the borders of our own country – from Manchester to London, or from New York to California. In fact, we are at least six times more likely to migrate across a country (from one region to another) than we are to move across a border. There are at least 740 million domestic migrants.

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