Immigration The other side of the coin /The Balkans are getting short of people by The Economist

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[FONT=var(--ds-type-system-sans)]Balking at Balkan babies[/FONT]
[FONT=var(--ds-type-system-serif)]The Balkans are getting short of people[/FONT]


The demography of south-eastern Europe threatens its hopes of prosperity.

South eastern europe is in a Catch-22. The region’s many problems prompt young, talented people to leave in droves. But it will not catch up with the rest of Europe without young, talented people to generate prosperity. Across the Balkans, populations are shrinking and ageing, and unless that changes even more will leave.

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This combination of rapid emigration, low fertility and sparse immigration produces the worst imaginable result, says Kresimir Ivanda, a Croatian demographer. Greece, Italy and Spain have low birth rates, but attract lots of immigrants. In Poland, more than 1m Ukrainians have filled gaps in the labour market left by emigration.

Yet the data that are available paint a clear picture. The population of every Balkan country is shrinking because of emigration and low fertility. In the past, populations grew back after waves of emigration, since many women had six children. Now few have more than one. Serbia may have more pensioners than working-age people by next year.

https://www.economist.com/europe/2020/08/22/the-balkans-are-getting-short-of-people


My two cents below:

If you want to see what the Demographic Time Bomb looks like. Look no further than the Balkans.

I see a lot of people thinking their prosperity and well being is due to capital issues and hard work. Very few seem to realize that human capital is the greatest capital. A lot of people, maybe rightfully so are worried due to immigration mainly cause of the clash of cultures and civilization, the demographic change in their community etc. Very few seem to notice the uncountable benefits to their countries from the same phenomenon.

With North Macedonia, where I live the case is dire. From low skilled laborers, who within a year of emigrating to Germany are doing much better for themselves than they ever did at home, to nurses and specialized Doctors, with much more prospects for the future, leaving in droves. Balkan people are easy to integrate in the German society, and to some degree highly welcome, due to the less stark clash in civilization and culture. But the collateral damage felt in their home country, is an expanding gaping hole, for which thus far we have no answer for.

Take a look at the stats below, in respect to remittances received just in Kosovo.

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We are talking almost $1 Bln in personal transfers. And 16% of GDP in remittances for Kosovo.
Nominally it is a low number. But when we keep in mind the size of the country and its economy, the number is staggering. Especially since there is no free travel for Kosovar people, even to go on vacation they need a visa. With their ~2.0 natality rate, this is good in terms of Demographics. But what will happen when they are allowed to travel, emigrate for work freely in the EU ?

The implications are clear.

Albania is not part of the EU, thus not the best example of what might happen if the Western Balkans join the EU. Emigrating for work there is really hard with no freedom of movement beside the Schengen which does not cover permanent emigration.
Yet since the Schengen was approved for Albania, look what happened to the population.

ipc_albania_population.svg

"Albania received a road map from the EU for further visa liberalization with Schengen countries in June 2008. ... On 8 November 2010 the Council of the European Union approved visa-free travel to the EU for citizens of Albania. The decision entered into force on 15 December 2010."

Notice what happened between 2008-2010 with the population. This is just by visa liberalization. Now imagine EU membership.

For a better example of what might happen lets look at the "more prosperous" Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania who joined the EU. Croatia 2013, Bulgaria & Romania 2007.

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https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/croatia-population/

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https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/croatia-population/

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https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/romania-population/

Keep in mind when they joined the EU and the following trend.

We see the initial dip in Yearly Growth Rate (%) following the fall of Communism in the 1990, which is later revived coinciding with EU ascension.

If the trend continues, it is expected that the median age will keep increasing, and thus the ratio of pensioners to working age population increasing. Putting further strain on the economy and social programs and safety nets which define modern day Welfare States.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government#Economic_systems
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_state
 
My fear for them is possibility of reaching the point which is no possible to increase or get stabilize the population again.
 
Thanks for the analysis. That's very interesting. I did not realise that the Balkans population was falling so fast.

However the main cause of population decline is not the fertility rates in the Balkans, which are comparable to other European countries. Bulgaria and North macedonia have the lowest fertility rate in the Balkans (1.6 and 1.5 child per woman), but that's still higher than Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain or Portugal. Kosovo actually has the highest fertility rate in Europe.

The sharp decline is mainly driven by emigration, presumably mostly to central and western Europe. But who is to say that after making enough money in richer countries those emigrants are not going to return to their native country? After a few decades of working with a higher salary than at home, they could buy a house and retire on their savings "back home". It's too early to see that happening because countries like Bulgaria and Romania only joined the EU 13 years ago, not long enough for people to save enough money. But if they do return after, say 20 or 30 years, that would change the population trend, without putting pressure on the pensions (if they have saved enough to retire comfortably).
 
we are cleaning the space for Erdogan's dreaming state,

Name me an new industry that is build in Balkans
 
Thanks for the analysis. That's very interesting. I did not realise that the Balkans population was falling so fast.

However the main cause of population decline is not the fertility rates in the Balkans, which are comparable to other European countries. Bulgaria and North macedonia have the lowest fertility rate in the Balkans (1.6 and 1.5 child per woman), but that's still higher than Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain or Portugal. Kosovo actually has the highest fertility rate in Europe.

The sharp decline is mainly driven by emigration, presumably mostly to central and western Europe. But who is to say that after making enough money in richer countries those emigrants are not going to return to their native country? After a few decades of working with a higher salary than at home, they could buy a house and retire on their savings "back home". It's too early to see that happening because countries like Bulgaria and Romania only joined the EU 13 years ago, not long enough for people to save enough money. But if they do return after, say 20 or 30 years, that would change the population trend, without putting pressure on the pensions (if they have saved enough to retire comfortably).

Balkan People who work in West EU counties till their retirement, means they probably marry and have a child in there too, so their children or grandchildren won't has strong tide as their father. Probably first comers mostly will return their homeland after retirement. But in other generations those rate will be go down

Don't you think that Turks in Belgium couldn't get enough money to come back Turkey. I have remembered a video about Turks in Germany. Now the third generation is growing. One of the first comer was saying that "firstly we wanted to buried in Turkey, but now we decide to be buried in Germany where our sons live"

But you are right, it is too early for talk about Bulgaria-Romania. However there is no strong feelings to returning back in the other more older groups in West EU such as Turks
 
Erdogan Plan is working, he pushs his own people leave the country to extent Turk population in world wide

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/world/europe/turkey-emigration-erdogan.html




We saw that how Balkan's can create a strong modern states in Yugoslavia. But not as nationalistic small states

Oh the Zastava, Pony, Sakharak,

Athens is half Greece,

Constantinoupolis is 2 times Greece and Bulgaria,

Romania has oil.

Albania has water for hydropower and silver.

Serbia is the North part of the balkan vertical axis,

Bulgaria once was at top 5 at chemical production and even scored no3 in parfumes all over world.


But no, everybody goes to China India, except Gemany who goes to Turkey !!!!

but today Italy and Russia control most railways,
France most agricutlural production,
Deutsch and Britain and Rusiia the tourism,
Swiss the coffee and chocolates, (only one of the top 4 survivedat greek hands, the one which had plantations at Africa, 2 of them were considered among 10 best in Europe)
Czech controls the cars
and CHina the harbors.

who controls the potato chips?

oh I forgot.
Greece controls Gyros Pitta :)


btw,
the chocolate with the biggest amount of coccoa butter in commerce in Europe,
the magnificent ability to melt at 37 C and at pressure, not in hands.

thema21.jpg
 

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