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April 2017, Volume 23, Number 2

OECD Migration, Wealth

The 33 OECD member countries with data had 960 million residents in 2010, including 106 million or 11 percent foreign-born residents, up from 76 million migrants in a population of 855 million in 2000, when migrants were nine percent of residents.

The highest shares of migrants were in New Zealand, 33 percent; Israel, 32 percent; Australia, 29 percent; Switzerland, 28 percent; and Canada, 25 percent, while Mexico, Japan, and Turkey had less than one percent foreign residents in 2010.

Of the migrants in OECD, 31 million or almost 30 percent had tertiary or post-secondary education in 2010, a big jump from 18 million or 24 percent in 2000. Canada, the UK and Israel had the highest share of foreign-born residents with post-secondary education in 2010, about half. The fastest-rising type of migration to the OECD is among the better educated. In several small and island countries, over half of persons with post-secondary education have emigrated, including Guyana, Haiti, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Tonga and Jamaica.

Pew in April 2017 projected that the number of babies born to Muslims will surpass the number born to Christians by 2035. Between 2010 and 2015, Christian women had 223 million babies, compared to 213 million for Muslims; between 2055 and 2060, there are expected to be 226 million Christian babies born and 232 million Muslim babies. The change to more Muslim babies reflects a younger Muslim population in countries with higher fertility.

The share of Christian and Muslim babies now is 64 percent, and the combined share is projected to increase to 71 percent 2060, as Hindu, Buddhist and other religions are projected to have declining fertility.

The distribution of Christians today finds about a quarter each in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Europe. By 2060, Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to have 42 percent of Christians; Latin America, 22 percent; and Europe, 14 percent. Similarly, the Muslim population, which is now 60 percent in the Asia-Pacific region; 20 percent in the Middle East and North Africa; and 16 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa, is projected in 2060 to be 50 percent in the Asia-Pacific region; 20 percent in the Middle East and North Africa; and 27 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Wealth. Wealth-X reported in February 2017 that there were almost 2,500 billionaires around the world in 2015, led by Bill Gates with $89 billion and Warren Buffet with $74 billion. The 10 richest people, nine from the US and one from Spain, have a combined $582 billion; six of the ten made their money in technology.

Wealth-X estimated that 212,600 people had more than $30 million in 2015, including 155,000 who had $30 million to $99 million each and a combined $8.4 trillion. The 2,500 billionaires had a combined $7.7 trillion; 2,100 or 85 percent have less than $5 billion. About 57 percent of these billionaires are self-made, while 31 percent began their trek to billionaire status via an inheritance.

Oxfam made headlines in January 2017 with a report asserting that the world's eight richest men, from Bill Gates ($75 billion) to Michael Bloomberg ($40 billion), had combined wealth of $427 billion, equivalent to the net wealth of half of the world's 7.2 billion people. Oxfam's use of net wealth is controversial, since many young people in the US and other industrial countries have student debts that puts them among the poor half of the world's people, even though they expect to earn enough after graduation to repay their debts.

New World Wealth (www.nw-wealth.com) estimated that 82,000 millionaires moved from one country to another for at least six months in 2016, and projected over 100,000 migrant millionaires a year by 2020. There are an estimated 13.6 million people with over $1 million in assets, and 11,000 moved to Australia in 2016 and 10,000 to the US, followed by Canada, UAE, and New Zealand. The leading country of origin was France, with 12,000 movers, followed China, 9,000, and Brazil, India and Turkey.

Australia offers Special Investor Visas to invest A$5 million for "golden ticket" visas, orA$1 million for a more restrictive visa that can also lead to permanent residence. One study found that two-thirds of Chinese millionaires were considering obtaining residence rights in another country, often to provide English-language training for their children.