Highlights of the UN’s World Migration Report – Part 1.

Migration Report 2020

The UN’s International Organization recently released its World Migration Report 2020. At a high-level, it shows that migration is largely related to the broader global economic, social, political and technological transformations that are affecting a wide range of high-priority policy issues.

The past few years have seen major migration and displacement events and the scale of international migration increase in line with recent trends.

Highlights: Data and information on migration and migrants

The number of international migrants globally in 2019: 272 million (3.5% of the world’s population)
  • 52 per cent of international migrants were male; 48 per cent were female.
  • 74 per cent of all international migrants were of working age (20–64 years).

India continued to be the largest country of origin of international migrants

  • India had the largest number of migrants living abroad (17.5 million), followed by Mexico and China (11.8 million and 10.7 million respectively).
  • The top destination country remained the United States (50.7 million international migrants).

The number of migrant workers declined slightly in high income countries while increasing elsewhere

  • Between 2013 and 2017, high-income countries experienced a slight drop in migrant workers (from 112.3 million to 111.2 million). Upper middle-income countries observed the biggest increase (from 17.5 million to 30.5 million).
  • Globally, male migrant workers outnumbered female migrant workers by 28 million in 2017. There were 96 million male migrant workers (58%) and 68 million female migrant workers (42%).

International remittances increased to USD 689 billion in 2018

  • The top 3 remittance recipients were India (USD 78.6 billion), China (USD 67.4 billion) and Mexico (USD 35.7 billion).
  • The United States remained the top remittance-sending country (USD 68.0 billion) followed by the United Arab Emirates (USD 44.4 billion) and Saudi Arabia (USD 36.1 billion).

The global refugee population was 25.9 million in 2018

  • 20.4 million refugees were under the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and 5.5 million were Palestinian refugees under the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
  • 52 per cent of the global refugee population was under 18 years of age.

The number of internally displaced persons due to violence and conflict reached 41.3 million

  • This was the highest number on record since the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre began monitoring in 1998.
  • The Syrian Arab Republic had the highest number of people displaced (6.1 million) followed by Colombia (5.8 million) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (3.1 million).

The number of stateless persons globally in 2018 was 3.9 million

  • Bangladesh had the largest number of stateless persons (around 906,000). It was followed by Côte d’Ivoire (692,000) and Myanmar (620,000).

Migration patterns vary from region to region

  • While most international migrants born in Africa, Asia and Europe reside within their regions of birth, the majority of migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean and Northern America reside outside their regions of birth. In Oceania, the number of intraregional migrants and those residing outside the region remained about the same in 2019.
  • More than half of all international migrants (141 million) lived in Europe and Northern America.

Migration has been a key determinant of population change in several countries

  • Intraregional migration has been an important contributor to population change in some African countries such as Equatorial Guinea.
  • Labour migration has contributed to significant population changes especially in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States. With the exceptions of Oman and Saudi Arabia, migrants made up the majority of the populations in GCC countries.

Displacement remained a major feature in some regions

  • The Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey were the origin and host of the largest number of refugees globally, 6.7 million and 3.7 million, respectively. Canada became the largest refugee resettlement country, resettling more refugees than the United States in 2018.
  • The Philippines had the largest number of new disaster displacements in 2018 (3.8 million).
  • Around 4 million Venezuelans had left their country by mid-2019. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was the largest source country of asylum seekers in 2018 (over 340,000).