Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Flip Side of U.S. Migration

The link above will lead you to a website dedicated to research about American emigration. The report was initiated by New Global Initiatives, Inc. Although I've looked through their website, it is not entirely clear what New Global does and who they are--there is much discussion of "years of professional experience," but the site does not specify what exact qualifications its founder and employees have, and what expertise they have to conduct large-scale research about anything, let alone immigration issues. They also have no link to any of the major immigration scholars in the U.S., nor do they have an affiliation with an organization (university or think-tank) that has an established track record doing this type of research.

I mention this because I am certain many of my readers will be interested in the study summary that is linked here. I applaud Global Initiatives for taking the (pardon the pun) initiative to execute this type of study; at the same time, the report itself lacks a solid description of its methodology and how the data presented were aggregated.

So, I offer this to you with a word of caution: there is no clear evidence that any of the data presented are reliable. For instance, the report says that 18% of Americans between the ages of 24-35 state they have definite plans to live outside the U.S., but there is no other clear data to tell us who this 18% might be--are they average citizens who are fed up with life in the U.S.? People employed by multi-national corporations? Military families? Because it is not clear who this group is, it is also not clear how significant this finding is. Obviously, I would be intrigued to know that 18% of the general population in this age group was planning to move abroad; if they are mainly military families, then the data are hardly surprising.

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