4th December 2010
Free societies are people magnets
Ask of a society what its net balance of migration is and you’ll get a sense of its level of freedom. Does the society attract more migrants, or do more of its citizens leave it? In this way, freedom comes closest to being measured objectively through its effect on the physical flow of people from a lower to higher levels of freedom. We can predict this flow with almost the same precision with which we predict the flow of water which flows, instead, from a higher to a lower level.
While economic reasons may impel people to temporarily work in places like Saudi Arabia or Libya, for the most part people do not migrate to or move to countries merely for a better standard of living. What they look for is the opportunity to achieve their own, and even more importantly, their children’s highest potential. A consequence of their people-magnetism is that free societies are almost always multi-cultural and multi-ethnic melting pots.
While nowhere in the league of ill-fated North Korea or Afghanistan, India also has net outflows of people. Indians have essentially fled from socialist tyranny and injustice. Despite the lack of welcome in the West till recently (racism is lesser now than it was in the past), many Indians prefer to live in the West than in their own shackled homeland. This exodus has stemmed somewhat with the Indian economy being freed up, though the data indicate an overall accelerating trend.
The following Tables outline some of the trends of emigration from India.
Share of immigrants received by USA