Wednesday, May 02, 2018

The Forgotten Migrants

The UN estimates that there are approximately 258 million international migrants in the world – that’s 3.4% of the world’s population. But it’s a lot more common in football, acting and academia than on average around the world. People do not often associate migration with the rich and famous, but the data tells a different story.

Based on Fifa 2017 statistics reveals that 55% of all active players who played for a national team in 2017 played for a club outside of the country where they hold citizenship. More than 90% of players for the national teams of Colombia, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland played for a club abroad; 87% of the Argentinian national team and 83% of the Brazilian national team earned their money outside of their country of citizenship. The average is lower for the larger European teams: 48% of Spanish national players, 39% of French and German, and 13% of Italians were de facto migrants. Out of the 100 best-rated players in 2017, 72 were migrants. These stats do not even include players who were born in a different country to the one they were raised in, and later acquired citizenship Ronaldo is a Portuguese citizen who has been employed in England and Spain for most of his career. Messi is Argentinian also working in Spain

Data on all Academy Award nominees for best actor and best actress since the year 2000 shows that, on average, 41% of those beautiful and talented people are or were migrants. Either they were born abroad and moved to Hollywood or they have at least worked in the US for an extended period of time. Either makes them a migrant. There are more female migrants in Hollywood than males: 45% of female nominees were born outside the US or hold a non-US passport compared with 33% of male ones. Most of them may well be British, Australian or Canadian, but just because the majority of “foreign” actors speak English as their mother tongue does not make them any less of a migrant. Kate Winslet, who is British, has been working in the US and living there for long stretches throughout her career.

Based on analysis of all Nobel laureates since 1901, it turns out that 29% of all those nominated for a Nobel prize in their respective discipline were migrants. “Migrant” in this case means that they were nominated for their work at an institution that was based outside of their country of birth (regardless of border changes). The percentage varies over time between 0%, for example, in 1922, 1965 and 1976, and 75% in 1957 and 1971. German Nobel prize winner Einstein worked at Princeton University for more than 20 years and acquired US citizenship in 1940.

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