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International immigration has gained increasing attention and interest with movement of people from one place to another, remaining a paramount aspect in most international debates and seminars. The study has as its main objective to investigate how immigration has affected socio-economic development in the Buea Municipality. Other specific research objectives were laid down which guided the purpose of data collection and analysis.

The methodology employed in data collection was a mixed research design where by immigration and socio-economic development were studied as independent variables of normal linearity and homocentality. The Pearson product correlation coefficient was used to test the hypothesis to show the relationship between immigration and its impact on socio-economic development. Empirical evidence from the field reveals that immigration has both positive and negative impact in the study area. Positive effects like increase in labour force, and infrastructural development and negative impacts like unemployment and rise in crime waves.



1.1Background to the study

International migration is a mighty force globally. Over 175m people, accounting for 3% of world’s population, live permanently outside their countries of birth , (United Nations, UN 2002). At the start of the new millennium, European migration patterns are very different than those from even 50years ago. Europeans emigrated heavily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but today the reception and assimilation of immigrants is a significant economic and social phenomenon in many previous emigration countries. Altogether 27m foreign nationals lived in European Union (EU15) countries in 2007, accounting for about 7% of the population. Empirical analysis shows that most of the recent population growth in Europe results from migration.

The directions of migrant flows are very asymmetric. A significant share of early migrants moved from Europe to the US, Canada, and Australia. While migration into these countries remains very strong, the composition of source countries changed substantially over the last 30 years or so. Most migrants to the US, for example, now come from Latin America and Asia instead of Europe. This composition change of migration flows is also observed in Europe and other parts of sub Saharan Africa.Sweden, for example, received most of its migrants from other Nordic countries until the late 1970s, but a substantial portion of its recent immigration has been refugees. Germany has received large inflows from Turkey, while Moroccan immigrants were the largest share for the Netherlands.


This broader pool of migrants has led to greater heterogeneity in immigrant traits. The US case is best documented. Recent immigrants from Latin America tended to be less educated than earlier European migrations to the US. Over 35% of high-school dropouts in the US were foreign born in 2000 (calculation based on the Current Population Survey), far greater than the case of  the 2 Germany also experienced inflows in the 1990s of ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union that were substantially larger than the listed immigration inflows (e.g., Brücker and Jahn 2010). These inflows are not captured, however, by nationality surveys as citizenship was automatically granted to ethnically German migrants.

Heterogeneity in immigrant types is also an important dimension of European inflows.  A survey carried out documents differences in the 2001 foreign national share of workers with primary/secondary or tertiary educations. As discussed below, immigrants have weaker labor force participation rates than natives, which generally leads to lower worker shares compared to population shares. This is particularly evident in countries accepting more refugees and asylum seekers. Most highly-educated immigrants originated from other European countries or the OECD more generally; only a third came from developing countries. Despite these high-skilled inflows, the majority of

Recent immigrants to Europe had a lower level of education than natives.

Globalization and free movement between developed countries have had a  significant impact on cross-border migration, capital mobility, innovation, and economic development. In most developed countries the share of foreign-born people has reached more than 10 per cent of the total population, and in some countries like Canada and Switzerland this share has even reached 15 per cent (Bodvarsson and Van den Berg, 2013). A large number of people live illegally in most developed countries, and they are without formal rights and social protection. The exact number of undocumented migrants is not known, and the statistics are based on speculation.

1.2 Problem Statement

The recent mass migration

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