Comment Glitch

If you're trying to comment here on The Fly Bottle, chances are your comment is getting kicked into MT-Blacklist moderation. I don't know why this is. If this happens to you, don't worry, I'm checking frequently and will approve your comment. The way to get around moderation is to open a Typekey account, which allows my blog (and anyone else with a MovableType blog) to know who you are and automatically OK anything you have to say.

  • Whoa, dismal Slovakia ahead of Hungary on this? Please don’t tell the Hungarian revanchists!

  • That’s a very plausible explanation for why the Swiss are welcoming of immigrants.

    Now let’s see, why would Australia be more welcoming of immigration than the U.S.? Perhaps it might have to do with the type of people immigrating?

    Let’s look at Autralia’s foreign born population and divide them into two groups – one group who your typical, shameless American would consider ‘Undesirable’ and the other ‘Desirable’. The Desirables would hail from Europe (excluding Eastern Europe), India, and East Asia (and of course North America). “Undesirables” would be from everywhere else.

    The data can be found here:
    http://www.migrationinformation.org/DataHub/countrydata/data.cfm

    What we find is that the “Desirables” make up two-thirds of immigrants in Australia. Contrast that with the U.S., where the “Undesirable” group makes up close to 80% of immigrants (from the same source). Given this, it is certainly plausible that Aussies can be every bit the xenophobic bigots that Yanks are, while still being more positive towards immigration.

    (unformatted raw data follows for Australia)
    Region No. (000’s)
    So. Asia (not India) 141
    S.E. Asia 553
    Oceania not N.Z. 106
    E. Eur 136
    Africa 249
    So/Centr Amer 86
    W. Asia 191
    Other 11
    Total ‘Undesirable’ 1473

    East Asia 389
    No. Amer. 94
    N. Z. 390
    India 147
    W. Eur 1110
    N. Eur 269
    S. Eur 544
    Total ‘Desirable’ 2943

    Total Foreign Born 4416

  • anonymous

    In Switzerland too, the type of immigrants may play a part. The majority of them comes from the EU.
    Then one may want to consider the demographics and labour market in Switzerland which may explain the Yougoslavians and the profession of the Western European immigrants attracted. It’s not only an od country but also a tax heaven.

  • gekco

    Well, I would say there is also an important relationship between “percentage of foreign-born residents” and the size of the country’s population.

    It’s very easy for Austria, small, next door to big ethnicity-and-language-and-EU-sharing Germany to have a large foreign-born population. Same really for Switzerland, with it’s major population centers next to porous national borders. Likewise, Belgium.

    Australia and New Zealand (and to some degree, Canada) get points for distance, but they do have relatively small populations compared with the US.

    Or think about this: what percentage of the population of Texas was born outside of Texas?

  • I’m just not sure what to make of this, other than to point out that the size of the population is completely irrelevant to the measure. For every 100 residents of Canada, 19 of them are immigrants and for every 100 residents of the U.S., 13 of them are. That’s a big difference.

    Yes, if Texas or California or Arizona were countries, they’d probably lead the world. But then if British Columbia was a country….

    • Renato Drumond

      Will, I think gek’s point isn’t that the size of population affects the measure, but, to a absolute flux of migration, the greater the population of the receptor country, the impact of migration will be small.

      Imagine that all immigrants came from country A. And the total of people that move to other countries is the same on each one of them. If the country B has a larger population than country C, so country B will be less affected by the immigration flux of same magnitude than C.

      Pehaps a better understanding of the situation is to consider the fertility rate rather than absolute population.

  • Fun fact: Ontario actually has a higher number of foreign born than British Columbia with 28.3% versus 27.5%. This is part of the reason Richard Florida loves Toronto, which has a foreign born population of 49.47% in the city and 47.2% in the metro area (Vancouver’s metro area is 39.6%).

  • I don’t see how the absolute size matters, either. But it’s important _who_ your foreign-born are. When you’re an Anglo country, and over 40% of immigrants are from Northern/Western Europe, North America and New Zealand, that’s 4 out of 10 foreign born you don’t even notice. Then when another 20% are East Asian and Southern European (i.e., high functioning), that immigrant population gets to be much less of an issue. Of course, immigration in Australian is still very controversial, witness the unrest over “Lebanese” (i.e., West Asians) a few years back.

  • Frederick Luogon

    I am quite impress what is going among you white folks in the West, but thiis applicable for most Africans wanting such opportunities. In Africa European and Western alike come and go like taking the train back and forth, including getting citizenship on the platter of gold. Please let these opportunities be extended to skilled African like myself.

  • jumbolachi

    Will, you’re looking at a small part of the costs of immigrating and none of the benefits. I am no expert on Switzerland, but it seems as though it has some unique qualities affecting the relative desirability of living there that you are not accounting for.

    On the cost side: Switzerland is a hodge-podge of European culture – it has 4 official languages! This definitely lowers the costs of immigrating there for many Europeans (particularly those who already speak Swiss, German, French, or Italian), as adapting to a new culture is definitely a cost deterring many potential immigrants to other countries.

    On the benefits side: Switzerland is staunchly neutral and keeps out of other countries’ business. The more a country encroaches on the rest of the world, the more it has to fear and defend itself from the blowback of such encroachment, particularly in the form of terrorism. Swiss citizens don’t have nearly as many things to worry about as other countries because of its neutrality.

    I am sure there are other factors as well, but I would wager that these ones are fairly important.

  • Tony

    Having just returned from living in Switzerland, I wouldn’t call it necessarily friendly toward immigrants. Switzerland has the strictest immigration laws in Europe. If you aren’t from the EU or in a highly specialized field, it is nearly impossible to immigrate to Switzerland. I attest the high percentage of immigrants in the country to its location at the heart of Western Europe and its dynamic economy (especially compared to its neighbors). I love Switzerland and it is an excellent example of a country with a strong libertarian streak…especially compared to the US, but immigration is not an area that it really trumps the US. Our immigration laws in the US, as bad as they are, are far more enlightened then those in Switzerland.

  • While there is a large base of immigrants in the Swiss workforce and policy wise the immigrants are accepted once they meet very extensive and specific requirements this does not necessarily equate to acceptance. I attribute ‘acceptance’ of immigrants to the populous of a nation. And there is a growing unrest among the Swiss populous regarding immigration.

    In Switzerland towns have voted to reject citizenship applications from all non-western applicants, although a court ruled the measure invalid it has not stopped its supporters. A recent initiative that barely failed was up for popular vote to amend the national constitution to allow localities to vote on citizen applications gained a lot of support and collected hundreds of thousands of Swiss signatures. The initiative, if it had passed would allow towns to pass open restrictions on citizenship, accept or deny citizens on any basis (discriminatory or not), and would allow localities to set up ‘competent’ citizen panels to review all citizenship applications. Not only that, these citizenship decisions can be deemed final, with no possibility of an appeal. There would be no accountability on the process, no check and balances, and no fair and equal treatment.

    Under the above system there would be no standard, no freedom, no rights – merely a tyranny of the majority. Thats the negative direction the Swiss population may be moving towards. While there is a large immigrant work force in Switzerland I would not quite go as far as saying that Switzerland is the most Immigrant-Friendly Country out there. I would argue that Australia, Ireland, or New Zealand fits that title much better.

    • me

      I don’t think the friendliest but friendly enough regarding the swiss people. They seem to be very tolerant and accepting but only when they find acceptance in return.

      You said Ireland, Noway… Based on another survey 1 in 4 children in Ireland declares straightforward racist and there is a huge anti-immigration campaign in the internet

  • joanna

    i get it that you’re just expressing your own wonder at having seen a graph who’s legitimacy we have no right to assume, but i can tell you as an immigrant living in switzerland, it is not “immigrant friendly”. after years of hard work (in the swiss economic sphere and in my marriage to a swiss citizen) i may be thrown out like yesterday’s garbage in a few months due to new legislation that says any married couple not living under the same roof may be immediately divorced by the regional government and foreigners in such marriages deported. last week my work permit was taken away. as an american i cannot fathom their über-traditional views of marriage and of foreigners that i am witness to everyday. what hurts me more than being without money and having to leave is knowing that this legislation was passed by majority vote (ie, my neighbors).

    • TheTruthBehindTheCurtain

      The fact the Swiss voted yes to a very strict law it is not because they have something against you or anyone who is not Swiss… maybe they wanna give more space as housing there is terrible.

  • TheTruthBehindTheCurtain

    I am not surprised, I always found the Swiss very helpful towards the foreigners. The fact that the naturalization law is strict, that doesn’t make the people being friendly.

    Now if Switzerland is the friendliest for immigrants? I don’t know. Based on another survey Canada was the best place for immigrants where you have to pay thousands of dollars for your visa application… I suppose when the statistics say friendly, they mean the people, not the law, government, politicians etc… The statistics can never be exact. How can UK score lower than Ireland? Uk has received immigrants for years and years, while Ireland has a very cold attitude towards them and the locals reject even Europeans which is shocking (I know it from my stay there the locals hate the foreigners and it is impossible to meet someone without mentioning to you how bad is the immigration law and how the immigrants destroy the country)… Ireland should be on the bottom of the list. Apart from that in the latest elections the Swiss voted yes to the immigration from Romania and Bulgaria, (the no votes were due to avoid cheap labor, nothing extreme right and xenophobic). Another survey confirms the 80pc of the Swiss want the immigrants to be integrated. However I do not suppose this is true at 100pc. Maybe the SVP has ruined the face of the country abroad but that was a mistake, or a misconception for the majority of the Swiss…

  • azmyth

    I get the impression that the article is satire, but I don’t know much about Joshua Green. I love living in a society where people can say the stupidest things they can think of and not be “regulated”.

    “Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we’re in one.” -Dan Gilbert

  • samratkumarpal

    i am samrat and a bba student of university of chittagong.switzerland is the most beautiful country that i ever known.i wish to be an immigrant of this beloved country.how can i do so?

  • Kaustav

    As an immigrant in Switzerland I definitely feel that no way is Switzerland immigrant friendly. Those stats are a direct result of second and even third generation migrants, who are counted as foreign born, not being able to acquire citizenship due a number of factors, a major one being a very xenophobic majority. Racial biases can be seen in almost every facet of life, especially while looking for housing.

  • I am concerned with the concentration of failing internet affiliate marketers, and unamerican currency depots whom believe the just process of licensure is in allignment with failed german immagration. This is in direct correation to inteerstate commerce on an international forefront of mental disabilty. In essence a seven foot tehter is due compound as a matter of refugee hypo status of intelectual capacity and capitalization in a zero tare district of arch capital function of disolution of disementation of information previously thought invalid as a matter of opposable thumb dexterity.