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But an additional reason for the low poverty rates in Scandinavian countries is that these are countries that have very few immigrants. Poverty rates are high almost everywhere in Europe among migrants into those countries. Scandinavian countries with the exception of Sweden have very few immigrants, both in absolute numbers and in terms of the portion of the overall population.
Here are the numbers:
Foreign born as a percent of total population by country:
|Country||Migrants as Percent of Population|
Source: OECD data (based on period close to 2000)
International Migrants in Developed, Emerging and Developing Countries: An Extended Profile – December, 2010
Because the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany are large countries, the absolute numbers of their immigrants are also very high, not just in percentages.
So is poverty low in Scandinavian countries because their “socialism” works, or because they have relatively few poor immigrants entering? And if poverty is low because Scandinavian “socialism” works, should it not be working for migrants in those countries as well?
Separate poverty data for the migrant populations in Scandinavian countries are available and there are numerous indications that these are quite high. According to one study, “While first and second generation immigrants constituted 44% of the poor children in 1997, they were 65% of all poor children in Sweden in 2008. Only 5% of native Swedish children live in poverty. For immigrant children with both parents born outside of the Sweden, the child poverty rate is 39%.” Poverty rates have also been shown to be high for immigrants in Denmark. According to a recent study of poverty rates among immigrants in all Scandinavian countries, “While native children face yearly poverty risks of less than 10 percent in all three countries and for all years investigated the increasing proportion of immigrant children with an origin in middle and low income countries have poverty risks that varies from 38 and up to as much as 58 percent.”
So Scandinavian “socialism” is doing a remarkably poor job in eliminating poverty among non-Scandinavians living in those Scandinavian utopias.
The conclusion can only be one thing. The low poverty rate among Scandinavians in Scandinavian countries is thanks to the fact that Scandinavians work. It is NOT because socialism works!
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