Today’s OECD International Migration Outlook takes a comprehensive look at the fiscal impact of immigration, but also has some interesting numbers on destination and origin countries.
Britain has been the destination of choice for immigrants from OECD nations in the past five years, but tiny Belgium is not far behind. Also Germany, where unemployment is now lower than it was before the financial crisis hit in 2008, is a close third choice.
Outflows of population, predictably are largest from countries with the highest unemployment rates, OECD data show.
A leading Iranian presidential candidate has told women to have more babies.
The country’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, who has championed “resistance” against the west, is a staunch conservative. In a recent campaign speech he lashed out at the western view that empowering women can act “as a tool” to speed up economic development. In Islam, he said, “the core identity of women lies in their motherhood”.
But he’s fighting against the tide of Iranian demography, which has undergone a radical shift in the past three decades.
Source: United Nations Population Division
Iranian total fertility rates (TFR) have collapsed from 6.49 per woman in 1974 to 2.17 in 2000 and 1.89 as at 2006. Demographers regard a TFR of 2.1 per woman as what is needed to keep a population stable. So the Iranian birth rate is not even enough to maintain current population levels, let alone to expand them.
The NSA data-collection story has prompted a lot of reporting about “metadata” – information about communications between individuals. As the FT has reported:
The practice was revealed by The Guardian, which published an order – signed by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court – instructing Verizon to give the NSA the metadata, or information logs, for the calls “on an ongoing daily basis”.
Call logs really matter. Even if you cannot hear the calls, metadata – knowing who called whom – is massively important. It allows you to build a picture of who knows whom and how well. This sounds trivially true, but computing power means it’s extremely easy to pull out this data in real time and in great detail. And if you spot a suspicious group, you can then get another warrant to listen in on their conversations.
Here is an example: I’ve put my Facebook account details into a piece of analytical software – and, 10 seconds later, this is my life:
This is a map of who my friends are based solely on knowing which of them is friends of the others. Nothing else. Just Facebook friend lists. It has worked out that the big clusters are groups of people who know one another – so probably have something in common. The ones at the centre of the packs know everyone else around them, and those at the edge are more peripheral.
China has declared war on European wine producers, in an apparent tit-for-tat spat about solar panel tariffs.
The move is a canny one on China’s part. Although European wine-makers have historically not been favoured by Chinese consumers, that has begun to change. Between 2008 and 2012 Chinese consumption of European wines rocketed by 445 per cent. This is despite the fact that duties and taxes already account for around half the price of the average imported bottle. Read more