World Migration Report 2010

The Future of Migration - Building Capacities for Change

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This Report focuses on the future of migration and the capacities that will be required by States, regional and international organizations, civil society and the private sector to manage migration successfully over the coming decades. Ten years ago there were 150 million migrants. Now, the number of migrants has grown to 214 million, and the figure could rise to 405 million by 2050, as a result of demographic disparities, environmental change, global political and economic dynamics, technological revolutions and social networks. This Report argues that it is essential for States to be able to develop the comprehensive knowledge and efficient, flexible institutions that they will need to promote and implement humane and orderly policies for the movement of people, now and in the future.

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Migration data: comparability, quality and limitations

Migration is, by nature, a difficult variable to capture. The multidimensional and multidirectional characteristics of migration today, as well as its temporary and circular patterns, require sophisticated data-collection systems and methodologies – which, in most cases, countries are not prepared to apply or lack the capacity to do so. One of the main challenges of measuring international migration remains the fact that countries still define ‘international migrant’ differently. This lack of consistency and conformity is one of the main obstacles to setting accurate measurements allowing for comparability at the regional and international levels.

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