More Southeast Asians Move Across Borders

      August 27, 2014 08:21

      There has been a marked growth in the number of Southeast Asians migrating to other countries over the past decade.

      In the past, they were often restricted in their movement across borders by language and cultural barriers, but recently demand for labor and better education have softened those barriers.

      The Chosun Ilbo and Seoul National University's Asia Center analyzed population migration data gathered by the UN and found that the number of Indonesians, Malaysians and other Southeast Asians moving to Korea, China and Japan rose from 660,000 in 2000 to 1.17 million in 2013.

      The number of Southeast Asians who moved to West Asia -- often Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia where there is demand for manual labor -- rose from 1.25 million to 2.77 million over the same period.

      Eun Ki-soo at SNU, said, "In many cases, the migration from Southeast Asia to Northeast Asia was due not only to work but to marriage as well."

      People from South Asia, where economic development is slower, are in turn moving in search of jobs to West Asia or to Southeast Asia, which have similar cultures and religions, Eun added.

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