Immigration in Europe — страница 7

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(274,000 as of 2006) and German (133,588) citizens, mainly in Alicante, Málaga provinces, Balearic islands and Canary islands. Chinese in Spain are estimated to number between ten and sixty thousand. Immigrants from several sub-Saharan African countries have also settled in Spain as contract workers, although they represent only 4.08% of all the foreign residents in the country. During the early 2000s, the mean year-on-year demographic growth set a new record with its 2003 peak variation of 2.1%, doubling the previous record reached back in the 1960s when a mean year on year growth of 1% was experienced. This trend is far from being reversed at the present moment and, in 2005 alone, the immigrant population of Spain increased by 700 000 people. Currently According to the Spanish

government there were 3.7 million foreign residents in Spain in 2005; independent estimates put the figure at 4.8 million or 15.1% of total population (Red Cross, World Disasters Report 2006). According to residence permit data for 2005, around 500,000 were Moroccan, another half a million were Ecuadorian, more than 200,000 were Romanians and 260,000 were Colombian. Other important foreign communities are British (8.09%), French (8.03%), Argentine (6.10%), German (5.58%) and Bolivian (2.63%). In 2005, a regularization program increased the legal immigrant population by 700,000 people. Since 2000 Spain has experienced high population growth as a result of immigration flows, despite a birth rate that is only half of the replacement level. This sudden and ongoing inflow of

immigrants, particularly those arriving clandestinely by sea, has caused noticeable social tensions. Spain currently has the second highest immigration rates within the EU, just after University Village, and the second highest absolute net migration in the World (after the USA). This can be explained by a number of reasons including its geographical position, the porosity of its borders, the large size of its submerged economy and the strength of the agricultural and construction sectors which demand more low cost labour than can be offered by the national workforce. In fact, booming Spain has been Europe's largest absorber of migrants for the past six years, with its immigrant population increasing fourfold as 2.8 million people have arrived. Immigrants from the European Union

Immigrants from the European Union make up a growing proportion of immigrants in Spain. They mainly come from countries like Romania, the UK and Germany, but the British case is of especial relevance due to its magnitude. The British authorities estimate that the real population of UK citizens living in Spain is much bigger than Spanish official figures suggest, establishing them at about 1.000.000, about 800.000 being permanent residents. In fact, according to the Financial Times, Spain is the most favored destination for West Europeans considering to move from their own country and seek jobs elsewhere in the EU. 2.4. United Kingdom Since the formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1922 there has been substantial immigration from other parts of

the world. In particular, migrants have arrived from Ireland and the former colonies of the British Empire - such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Caribbean, South Africa, Kenya and Hong Kong - under British nationality law. Others have come as asylum seekers, seeking protection as refugees under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, or from European Union (EU) member states, exercising one of the EU's Four Freedoms. The census in 2001 gave some guidance as to the current ethnic groups of the United Kingdom. About half the population increase between 1991 and 2001 was due to foreign-born immigration. 4.9 million people (8.3 percent of the population at the time) were born abroad, although the census gives no indication of their immigration status or intended length of

stay. In 2006, there were 149,035 applications for British citizenship, 32 per cent fewer than in 2005. The number of people granted citizenship during 2006 was 154,095, 5 per cent fewer than in 2005. The largest groups of people granted British citizenship were from India, Pakistan, Somalia and the Philippines. In 2006, 134,430 people were granted settlement in the UK, a drop of 25 per cent on 2005. British Empire & the Commonwealth During this period, the British Empire covered most of the globe, at its peak over a third of the world's people lived under British rule. Both during this time, and following the granting of independence to most colonies after World War II, the vast majority of immigrants to the UK were from either current or former colonies, most notably those