Who Lives Where in the European Union
The EU is unique in many ways, and each European Union member state is unique in their own way too. There are many ways countries of the EU differ from one another, for instance population growth and GDP are two areas that are vastly different. In domestic policy each country can be radically different, such as their approach to education and policing, although there is an overall strategy from the EU, member countries still have their own governments.
The EU covers over four million square kilometers and 508 million people live within its borders, only China and India have larger populations. France is the largest geographical country and Malta is the smallest. The EU’s overall population is growing, partly by natural growth but mostly by immigration, more people come and live in the EU than leave it. The age of the population is also rising, as people live longer but fewer children are being born.
Standards of Living
The quality of life differs from country to country, one way to measure this is by the price range of goods and services, compared to the average income. This is measured by a fictional currency which is called PPS (purchasing power standard). By using this equation of GDP per person in PPS, you can see an overview of which countries have the best standard of living and which the worst. The countries that come out worse with a PPS of less than 60 are Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia. Whereas Luxembourg is way out in front with a PPS of 266, Ireland and the Netherlands complete second and third in the table.
There are many differences between EU member states in terms of their education policies. The poorer states are often agricultural and education is not seen as a major contributor to GDP. However, education does increase the skill sets of a workforce and offers more options to the population and country. The EU’s policy towards that of education is that students should spend time in in other countries, and the Erasmus program was introduced to facilitate this.
Welfare & Health
There are vast differences between healthcare and social benefits between all countries of the EU, and this is a major factor for the migration of peoples from one-member state to another. Also, it is a major contributor to the influx of asylum seekers into the EU and individual member countries. Countries with a free healthcare system and generous social benefits for the unemployed are naturally targets for immigration. And although actual numbers fluctuate widely the demographic of the EU is changing rapidly. It should be mentioned that a mobile skilled EU workforce is a good thing, as many member states benefit greatly from this.
By looking at all these indicators we have a table of where it is most likely that the population of member countries may want to migrate to. It is obvious that the more affluent, better educated, and fully employed states are the most attractive. But countries such as the UK, Germany and France are now having to restrict entry through their borders to asylum seekers, as EU member states have unrestricted entry. The population of the EU is on the move for better or worse and will continue to do so.