Immigration in Modern Day Europe

Immigration to Europe has a long history, but increased substantially in the later 20th centuryWestern European countries, especially, saw a high growth in immigration after World War II and many European nations today have sizeable immigrant populations, both of European and non-European origin. 


There are many benefits of immigration. People who move to other countries bring with them new foods, customs and celebrations. Music and art from other countries lends into the culture of the new country. Many words from other languages become regularly used in the language of the new country. Young people learn to grow up in a multi-cultural community in which diversity is celebrated. Young children grow up with and learn from new friends from many different cultures and backgrounds.


Many important services depend on immigrants to fill areas of employment where there are shortages of skills. For example, hospitals all over Europe depend on doctors and nurses from other countries. Immigrants are normally young, working people who contribute wealth by paying taxes to the governments of their new countries.


In 2010, 47.3 million people lived in the EU, who were born outside their resident country. This corresponds to only 9.4% of the total EU population. Of these, 31.4 million (6.3%) were born outside the EU and 16.0 million (3.2%) were born in another EU member state. The largest absolute numbers of people born outside the EU were in Germany (6.4 million), France (5.1 million), the United Kingdom (4.7 million), Spain (4.1 million), Italy (3.2 million), and The Netherlands (1.4 million).


Some adults in different European countries complain that there are too many immigrants moving to their country. In most countries, however, on average only about 10% of the population are actually immigrants:

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