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Migration and migrants: A global overview

image of Migration and migrants: A global overview

In most discussions on migration, the starting point is usually numbers. Understanding changes in scale, emerging trends and shifting demographics related to global social and economic transformations, such as migration, help us make sense of the changing world we live in and plan for the future. The current global estimate is that there were around 272 million international migrants in the world in 2019, which equates to 3.5 per cent of the global population. A first important point to note is that this is a very small minority of the world’s population, meaning that staying within one’s country of birth overwhelmingly remains the norm. The great majority of people do not migrate across borders; much larger numbers migrate within countries (an estimated 740 million internal migrants in 2009). That said, the increase in international migrants has been evident over time – both numerically and proportionally – and at a slightly faster rate than previously anticipated.

Related Subject(s): Migration
Sustainable Development Goals:
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