Costs and benefits of immigration policy for ageing populations

Agata A. Górny, University of Warsaw
Agnieszka Fihel, University of Warsaw

For the last decades European countries have been facing unprecedented demographic challenges, among which the most important remains the process of population aging. This phenomenon results from two demographic factors: a significant lengthening of life expectancy and steady lowering of fertility much below the level of generation replacement. In the long run these processes contribute to declines in the size of population and irreversible changes in the age structure. This will have its far-leading consequences both in economic and social dimension. In particular, the competitiveness of economy of a ‘grey society’ and the performance of public finances, especially of pension systems, raise commonly shared concerns. In this poster we ask whether the observed demographic processes can be reverted by some instruments of population policy. As the problem of population aging can be hampered – among other means – by intensification of young people immigration, we want to list in a systematic way all possible costs of inflow, settlement and integration of foreigners. We present examples of very different migration regimes and policies of 3 European countries: Austria, France and Italy. Examples will be confronted with the statistical data on migrants’ share in the country’s population and their pivotal – in this context – socio-demographic characteristics, such as age structure, fertility level, employment rate. In the case of Italy integration policy will concern also regular amnesties that is programs legalising the stay if immigrants in a destination country. This analysis will contribute to the discussion about the importance of replacement migration and will establish the starting point for further studies of population policy that we want to recommend to Poland.

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Presented in Poster Session 1