Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bye Bye Europe

Over at the always-interesting Brussels Journal, which the Belgian government has tried to censor for its commentary, there are three consecutive articles about native-born Europeans leaving their countries in increasing numbers. 200,000 in Great Britain, 100,000 in Holland, 145,000 in Germany. In populations of millions, these numbers are still relatively small. Their importance, however, lies in the fact that these nations already had low birth-rates – well below the replacement level – and that the emigrants tend to be skilled or well-educated people in their 20’s and 30’s. Unsurprisingly, a disproportionate number are Jews, who do not like the increasing tolerance for violent anti-Semitism that the Western European nations are showing toward their Muslim immigrants.

Americans tend to assume that the Muslim immigrants to Western Europe are much like those who come to America. This is emphatically not so. Whether this is a self-selection bias in those who choose the US, or that we are simply better at assimilating different others in hotly debated. What little scientific evidence there is on the matter suggests the latter, though even Americans tend to believe that Europeans are more tolerant. Though we are widely criticized for our racism in the US, it remains the case that no one (no, not even the Canadians and Australians) absorbs racially diverse immigrants as well as the US. Whether one compares crime rates, income, years of education, or neighborhood integration, immigrants to America score much higher on all measures.

1 comment:

bs king said...

This is the second or third post that's made me want to track down this essay written by a black man during the Civil Rights movement in the 60s. I can't remember all of it, but he comments about how he spent all of his time criticizing America for how intolerant it was....until he went to Switzerland and had a small child come up and try to rub the black off of him. If I remember who wrote it, I'll let you know.