The World Bank on Migration and Remittances

The World Bank has just published a report on migration flows within and out of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union as well as Central Asia; The Economist also has the story

(from the report's executive summary)

Migration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is unique and significant: ECA accounts for one-third of all developing country emigration, and Russia is the second largest immigration country worldwide. Migrants’ remittances, as a portion of gross domestic product, are also large by world standards in many of the net emigration countries of the region. Economic motivations and expectations regarding improvements in the quality of life at home currently drive short-term, long-term, and circular migration flows within ECA and between ECA and Western Europe. This report traces the trends of international migration and remittances in the region since the transition and their determinants. The report also looks at international migration policy in the region and how current bilateral migration schemes can be improved.

One important thing to watch out for is the importance of remittances from emigrants who have left their country solely for the purpose of seeking a job in a foreign country in order to support families back home. Another point to watch out for is the intra-regional migration flows in Eastern Europe where the report emphasizes that ...

Migration in the ECA region is both large by international standards and unique in that the region is both a major receiver and sender of migrants. Figure 1.2 exhibits the ECA region and selected ECA countries in terms of their shares of foreign-born populations. Excluding movements between industrial countries, ECA accounts for over one-third of world emigration and immigration. There are 35 million foreign-born residents in ECA countries, including 13 million in the Russian Federation, 7 million in Ukraine, 3 million in Kazakhstan, 3 million in Poland, and 1.5 million in Turkey. Furthermore, several ECA countries are among the top 10 sending and receiving
countries of migrants worldwide.

Now, it is not that I disagree with the report's conclusions in the sense that I am sure the numbers are true. However, when it comes to intra-regional migrational flows in Eastern Europe we need to be very careful when we invoke for example the positive effects of for example Russia's status as a major recipient of immigration from its neighbours. I am sure this is true but the general demographic outlook of Russia is very dire and essentially we need to consider whether intra-regional migration flows in much of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union is not like re-arranging deck chairs on Titanic since fertility rates in the originating country most likely is very low. This would then mean that the process of ageing continues in the region. 

Ok, rant over. I am sure the report is very comprehensive so I still think it definitely is one to bookmark.  

Demographicsclaus vistesen