Recent emigration from Russia due to the war

The migration of persons from and to Russia due to the war is hard to estimate, but there is consensus that very many have left to former parts of the Soviet Union, while many Russians who had settled in Ukraine during the Soviet period have returned to Russia.

There have been two waves: the first immediately after the war began; the second, after the new draft announced on September 21.

The single best analysis of the first wave was published in English by Riddle on July 25:

A team of sociologists from OK Russians conducted several surveys on Russian emigration and found that the majority of migrants settled in Turkey (24.9%), Georgia (23.4%) and Armenia (15.1%). Following the outbreak of the war, Israel greatly simplified its repatriation rules for Ukrainian and Russian Jews in March 2022. About 2.8% of respondents moved to Israel. Slightly smaller numbers of migrants arrived in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan — about 2% of all respondents. The most popular European destination countries were Serbia (1.9%), Montenegro (1.7%), Estonia (1.6%), Germany (1.6%) and Spain (1.5%) (see Figure 1). The choice of countries was largely random and depended on the availability of tickets and the rules for entry and stay. This was noted by 58% of respondents. Less than half of the sample plan to stay in these countries (43%). A quarter plan to move on (18%), 35% felt confused at the time of the survey, and as few as 3% plan to return to Russia.

Pre-war migration patterns were complex due to the demographic of the Soviety Union.

As of 2020, Russia had 11 million foreign born persons, 3.2 million of whom came from Ukraine (which was about half of all Ukrainians living outside the country), and 2.6 million from Kazakhstan. (Go here.)

An expert on area migration said this in May 2022: “According to our estimates, from the late 1980s to 2017 inclusive, there are about three million people who were born in Russia and live in far abroad countries. That is, not 11 million [as in the UN data], but three. So, if you use UN statistics, you should, if possible, remove the former Soviet republics from it. That will be more correct. For example, many people were born in Russia and moved to Ukraine during the Soviet era. Or take the “punished” peoples: Latvians and Lithuanians returned from exile with children who were born in Russia.”

Western estimates of emigration due to the war are extremely tentative.

The Carnegie Endowment says that 100,000 people moved from Russia to Kazakhstan immediately after the invasion.

The Economist estimates for the first wave that “A survey of recent émigrés showed that about a quarter of those who left settled in Georgia. The same number went to Istanbul, and another 15% ended up in Armenia. (These places do not require visas for Russian citizens.) Nearly half of those who left work in computing and it, according to a survey carried out in March. Another 16% were senior managers; 16% more worked in the arts and culture.” Note that these figures are from early 2022.

The New York Times estimates that, for the second wave, 200,000 have left since the new draft began in early September.

Canada: top immigrant country

From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:

Statistics Canada reports that 8.3 million people, or 23 per cent of the population, are foreign born, topping the previous record of 22.3 per cent in 1921. 14% of American residents are foreign born.

Immigrants and permanent residents now make up a larger share of Canada’s population than they do in any other G7 country.

Canada’s population grew by 5.4 per cent from 2016 to 2021. New immigrants accounted for 71.1 per cent of that growth. The U.S. grew by 2.7% in those years; 14% was due to the growth in foreign born; growth would have been much higher had immigration not slowed down greatly.

(American Community Survey data here.)

From 2016 to 2021, immigrants accounted for four-fifths of Canada’s labour force growth. The U.S. workforce growth is almost entirely due to immigration, although this is not evident during the few years of immigration decline.  (Go here and here).

Between 2016 and 2021, 218,430 new refugees were admitted to Canada as permanent residents.  About the same number of refugees were admitted to the U.S, with eight times the total population. (Go here.)


The Latino vote in November 2022

“We should aim for new narratives about Latinos that are as complicated and divided as America itself.” — from There Is No One Story About Latino Voters: The results of last week’s midterm elections are good news for Latino voters, who should be viewed with more nuance by both parties, by Geraldo Cadava in The New Yorker, November 14:

In the spring of 2021, after months of analysis, a consensus emerged that Trump won thirty-seven or thirty-eight per cent of the Latino vote in 2020, rather than the twenty-seven per cent reported in the American Election Eve Poll or the thirty-two per cent reported by national exit polls. Today, most professionals have settled on the idea that exit polls aren’t definitive, and the only way to really know how Latinos voted is to wait for precinct-level results, which take time to analyze.…..

Governor Ron DeSantis won the Latino vote outright, and not only among anti-communists. He won sixty-eight per cent of the Cuban vote, but also fifty-five per cent of the Puerto Rican vote and fifty per cent of votes from “other Latinos” (Venezuelans, Colombians, Mexicans, etc.)…..

[The varied results from the November elections] display an image that’s more blurry than clear. That’s a good thing, if not for Republican or Democratic partisans then for Latinos. It shows that both parties have work to do in winning Latino voters, and should lead to more curiosity about Latinos, not as Republicans or Democrats but as a rapidly growing group of Americans. Democrats have argued that Latinos by and large support progressive policies, on issues that include reproductive rights, the cost of health care, climate change, and gun safety. Yet support for those policies hasn’t necessarily translated into votes. Democrats see this largely as a problem of messaging, but it would be a mistake for them to ignore how many Latinos are drawn to Republican support for American exceptionalism, charter schools, religious freedom, lowering taxes, and slashing financial regulations.

What would be most unfortunate is if Republicans and Democrats cherry-picked the results that favored their narrative the most, to help them argue that there’s no need to shift course and no lessons to be learned from what happened in 2022. If the current partisan narratives hold—that Latinos are moving back toward the Democratic Party (not universally true), or that Latinos are becoming Republicans (also not universally true)—the conversation two years from now will be the same as it has been for the past two years. Instead, we should aim for new narratives about Latinos that are as complicated and divided as America itself.

I have commented on the rise of the Hispanic electorate here, here and


U.S. vs foreign born compared by education level

I’ve been looking for this for some time – the shares of 25 + year old persons, U.S. born and foreign born, by educational level. I found data here, then estimated the two populations for 25 or older. The results are inexact, but confirm that which we knew: a disproportionate share of adults with less than high school education are foreign born.

The table, however, does not reveal that in the past 10 or so years, recent immigrants are much more formally educated than earlier arriving immigrants. This shift reflects how the dominant type of immigrant 1980 – 2005 was from Latin American, since then from to Asia. The Asian immigrant population has almost doubled since 2000. The table shows that among all living persons 25 + years, 34% of U.S. born persons and 34% of foreign-born persons had a college or advanced degree. In 2013, 41% of recent immigrants had college or advanced degrees. Go here, here and here.

Indian IT college grads are staying in India

The Times of India reports that recent IT graduates of Indian universities are no longer going abroad. Students say that the opportunities for an IT career are better in India. The Times writes that in the early ’90s, the outflow of computer science graduates was so great that the World Bank suggested a tax on IT and other professional talent leaving the country. Now less than 15% of recent graduate leave, and more are going to Japan than to the United States. And, the model of one-way brain drain needs to be replaced with a model of brain circulation throughout the world.

I recently posted on how the Indian IT industry was built in part on know-how gained by Indian IT professionals working temporarily in the United States. This is an example of circular migration, a fact of much migration today which is poorly documented.  Rising economies around the globe, higher global education levels, and increasing ease of migration, are behind this circular motion.


Title 42 ruled illegal

On November 15 a judge ruled that Title 42 was being illegally applied by the Biden administration: “arbitrary and capricious” and a violation of federal regulatory law. Go here and here for a news article; go here for a Title 42 timeline.

Since the Trump administration introduced Title 42 into border control, millions of persons who might have valid amnesty cases have been turned away from the border. It took a suit by the ACLU originally filed several years ago to get to this decision.  The advanced countries have been confronting millions of plausible amnesty cases based on credible fear of persecution. This wave will not cease.  The U.S, the U.K. and other countries need to fashion credible, effective policies to deal with this wave.

The National Immigration Forum has “42 border solutions that are not Title 42.” They break down into better border processes (1-14), addressing root causes (15-29) and better border security (30-42).


Border processes: “Expand capacity at legal ports of entry to handle intake and process asylum claims. Currently, ports of entry remain largely closed to asylum seekers, and migrants are not permitted to enter (or must wait weeks or months) at ports of entry. Increasing capacity will allow for asylum processing in an orderly manner at legal ports of entry and disincentivize unlawful crossing between ports of entry.”

Addressing root causes: Utilize and expand capacity of seasonal guestworker programs like H-2A and H-2B to bring in needed workers from Northern Triangle countries. The U.S. government should work with U.S. employers to establish safe, informative recruiting networks in Northern Triangle countries to grow these legal pathways. These efforts also should include increasing the H-2B cap and earmarking additional visas for individuals from Northern Triangle countries.”

Border security: “Complete planned overhaul of obsolete surveillance technologies and systems at the border. Since 2017, CBP has implemented just 28% of planned surveillance and subterranean technology solutions. Phase out use of outdated systems still in use by many sectors.”

Recent changes in the electorate due to immigration

The total number of eligible voters grew from 2018 to 2022 by 3%. Let’s look at the Hispanic and Asian eligible population, which grew much faster.

First, the overall trend in the naturalized voter.

According to Pew, 9.8% of people eligible to vote in the 2020 U.S. presidential election were immigrants. This was up from 7.5% in 2008. About one third of these persons are Hispanic, one third Asian. (Go here and here.)

California had in 2020 more immigrant eligible voters (5.5 million) than any other state, more than New York (2.5 million) and Florida (2.5 million) combined. Texas and New Jersey have 1.8 million and 1.2 million immigrant eligible voters, respectively.


Naturalization rates among Asians eligible for naturalization are very high (often over 75%) but among Mexicans and Central Americans low (below 50%).

Eligible Hispanic voters grew by 16% between 2018 and 2022, accounting for 62% of eligible voters in that period. That makes them 14% of all eligible voters, up from 9% in 2008. The high rate of growth is due largely to the large number of Hispanic youth relative to the youth component of other ethnic/racial groups

Relative to the total eligible voter population, they are more inclined not to finish high school and less inclined to have an advanced degree. About 25% are immigrants, that is naturalized citizens.

The number of eligible Asian voters grew by 9% since 2018, to be 5.5% of the total eligible vote. They are much more inclined than than the total to have an advanced degree. 57% of them are immigrants, that is naturalized citizens.

The long term, and yery young eligible voters (18-19 years) old: note the extreme variation by region in the share of them who are Hispanic or Asian.




Ukraine’s demographic decline

Population decline has been baked in for over 30 years

The fertility rate is 1.2. It was last at the replacement rate of 2.1 in 1986.

From NoBrainerData:

The population of Ukraine has been shrinking since 1990, when it attained its maximum of 51.6 million inhabitants, It is estimated that between 1990 and 2022 Ukraine would have lost about 10.7 million people (more than 20% of its population), while Russia lost 1.3% of its population. The actual population size of Ukraine would be even smaller than the 43.8 million estimated by the United Nations: Only around 37.9 million. Accordingly, directly prior to the war, the demographic crisis of Ukraine caused by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the occupation of the Donbas region, and emigration and low fertility, would have caused a decline of the population of his country of more than 26% between 1990 and 2022.

Exiting due to the War

From the Center for Immigration Studies (as of October, 2022)

Around seven million Ukrainians have sought refuge across Europe since the Russian invasion, most of them women and children, since men aged 18-60 are not allowed to leave the country.

Around four million have registered for “Temporary Protection” in the European Union, a status not available for the 2.5 million who sought refuge in non-EU countries.

Permanent return doesn’t seem to be on the agenda for most who left Ukraine: Only 10 percent of returnees from abroad have stayed. Most of those who left Ukraine come from provinces that are now mostly controlled by Russian forces.

The number of refugees from Ukraine recorded in these neighboring countries are as follows (based on UNHCR’s data October 11, 2022): Some 16,000 Ukrainians sought refuge in Belarus, 2.9 million in Russia, 94,000 in Moldova, 82,000 in Romania, 30,000 in Hungary, 97,000 in Slovakia, and 1.4 million in Poland.

Desire to emigrant, before the War

Delmi Policy Brief, 2022, drawing upon a pre-war survey of Ukrainians:

The number of refugees from Ukraine recorded in these neighboring countries are as follows (figures are rounded; unless noted otherwise, all figures provided in this report are based on UNHCR’s data portal as of October 11, 2022): Some 16,000 Ukrainians sought refuge in Belarus, 2.9 million in Russia, 94,000 in Moldova, 82,000 in Romania, 30,000 in Hungary, 97,000 in Slovakia, and 1.4 million in Poland.

During the years 2007 to 2021 slightly more than ¼ 26% of Ukrainian stated that they have a desire to move to another country. This corresponds to about 12 million people. I’ve always expressing a wish to move, 47% wanted to move to the EU country. Outside of the EU, the most popular countries with the United States at 15%, Russia at 13%, and Canada at 6%. 36% said they wished to move to Germany that was followed by Poland at 15% followed by Italy at 11%.


Canada releases new immigration targets

On November 1, the Canadian government released its immigration plan for the next three years. This level of clarity and foresight is inconceivable for the United States. The government’s announcement in part:

Today the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, released Canada’s 2023–2025 Immigration Levels Plan. The plan embraces immigration as a strategy to help businesses find workers and to attract the skills required in key sectors—including health care, skilled trades, manufacturing and technology—to manage the social and economic challenges Canada will face in the decades ahead.

The immigration targets, in 000s:

Last year Canada welcomed over 405,000 newcomers – the most we’ve ever welcomed in a single year. The Government is continuing that ambition by setting targets in the new levels plan of 465,000 permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025. The plan also brings an increased focus on attracting newcomers to different regions of the country, including small towns and rural communities.

Highlights of the levels plan include:

*a long-term focus on economic growth, with just over 60% of admissions in the economic class by 2025

*using new features in the Express Entry system to welcome newcomers with the required skills and qualifications in sectors facing acute labour shortages such as, health care, manufacturing, building trades and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

*increases in regional programs to address targeted local labour market needs, through the Provincial Nominee Program, the Atlantic Immigration Program, and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Data in table from here.



Australia’s educational system as an export industry

From a 2018 article (here):

Australia has managed to turn immigration into an export industry. After minerals, Australia’s largest “export” may well be educational services, represented by tuition fees paid by international students studying in Australia. It is an open secret that most of these students view an Australian degree as a back door to permanent residency. In effect, Australian universities are selling more than just a quality education. They are selling the hope of a permanent resident visa along with it.

As a result, Australia, with a population of about 25 million, is ranked fourth in the world for the number of international university students, welcoming nearly one-third as many students as the United States (population 325 million). In addition to 382,000 international university students, Australia hosts a further 248,000 junior college and high school students. And international enrollments are growing at  enormously, with about one-third coming from China.