International Migrants – 244 million in 2015, up from 222 million in 2010 and 173 million in 2000

• The number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow rapidly over the past fifteen years reaching 244 million in 2015, up from 222 million in 2010 and 173 million in 2000.
• Nearly two thirds of all international migrants live in Europe (76 million) or Asia (75 million). Northern America hosted the third largest number of international migrants (54 million), followed by Africa (21 million), Latin America and the Caribbean (9 million) and Oceania (8 million).
• In 2015, two thirds (67 per cent) of all international migrants were living in just twenty countries. The largest number of international migrants (47 million) resided in the United States of America, equal to about a fifth (19 per cent) of the world’s total. Germany and the Russian Federation hosted the second and third largest numbers of migrants worldwide (12 million each), followed by Saudi Arabia (10 million).
• In 2014, the total number of refugees in the world was estimated at 19.5 million. Turkey became the largest refugee-hosting country worldwide, with 1.6 million refugees, followed by Pakistan (1.5 million), Lebanon (1.2 million), and the Islamic Republic of Iran (1.0 million). More than half (53 per cent) of all refugees worldwide came from just three countries: the Syrian Arab Republic (3.9 million), Afghanistan (2.6 million), and Somalia (1.1 million).
• Women comprise slightly less than half of all international migrants. The share of female migrants fell from 49 per cent in 2000 to 48 per cent in 2015. Female migrants outnumber male migrants in Europe and Northern America, while in Africa and Asia, particularly Western Asia, migrants are predominantly men.
• The median age of international migrants worldwide was 39 years in 2015, a slight increase from 38 years in 2000. Yet in some major areas, the migrant stock is becoming younger. Between 2000 and 2015, the median age of international migrants declined in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania.
• Most migrants worldwide originate from middle-income countries (157 million in 2015). Between 2000 and 2015, the number of migrants originating from middle-income countries increased more rapidly than those from countries in any other income group. The majority of migrants from middle-income countries were living in a high- income country.
• In 2015, of the 244 million international migrants worldwide, 104 million (43 per cent), were born in Asia. Europe was the birthplace of the second largest number (62 million or 25 per cent), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (37 million or 15 per cent) and Africa (34 million or 14 per cent).
• In 2015, India had the largest “diaspora” in the world (16 million), followed by Mexico (12 million). Other countries with large diasporas included the Russian Federation (11 million), China (10 million), Bangladesh (7 million), and Pakistan and Ukraine (6 million, each).
• Between 2000 and 2015, positive net migration contributed to 42 per cent of the population growth in Northern America and 32 per cent in Oceania. In Europe the size of the population would have fallen between 2000 and 2015 in the absence of positive net migration.
• The ratification of United Nations legal instruments related to international migrants and migration remains uneven. As of October 2015, 36 Member States had ratified all five of the United Nations legal instruments related to international migration, while 14 Member States had ratified none of the relevant instruments.
• Since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the issue of international migration and its relation to development has risen steadily on the agenda of the international community. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development not only includes several migration-related targets, but also encourages countries to disaggregate targets by, inter alia, migratory status.


Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  International Migration Report 2015 – Highlights



  1. Pingback: Refugees in the US – 84,995 admitted in 2016 | Job Market Monitor - January 30, 2017

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