Number of migrants rose to 272 million globally in 2019: UN

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 18 (APP):The total number of migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million this year, posting an increase of 51 million since 2010, according to data released by the United Nations on Tuesday.

Currently, migrants comprise 3.5 per cent of the global population, compared to 2.8 per cent in the year 2000, based on the International Migrant Stock 2019, a data-set released by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

The report provides the latest estimates of the number of international migrants by age, gender and origin for all countries and areas of the world. The estimates were based on official national statistics on the foreign-born or the foreign population obtained from population censuses, population registers or nationally representative surveys.

“These data are critical for understanding the important role of migrants and migration in the development of both countries of origin and destination,” Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for DESA, said on the report.

“Facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people will contribute much to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Europe hosts the largest number of international migrants at 82 million this year, followed by Northern America with 59 million and Northern Africa and Western Asia with 49 million people.

The share of international migrants in the total population varies considerably across regions, the report shows, where foreign-born individuals comprise 21 per cent of the population of the Oceana region (Australia and New Zealand included), and 16 per cent of all people in Northern America.

With forced displacements continuing to increase, refugees and asylum seekers account for close to a quarter of global increases, which have risen by 13 million in number from 2010 to 2017.

Although migration is global, most journeys are taking place within a limited set of countries, with the US, Germany, and Saudi Arabia making up the top three.

The link between migration and development is “very well established,” Director for DESA’s Population Division, John Wilmoth told reporters at the UN, echoing the message from the Department’s Under-Secretary General ahead of the report release.

Wilmoth said as a general observation, the contribution of migrants both in host countries and countries of origin, includes sending valuable remittances back to countries of origin, and a major social contribution through transmission of ideas.

The United Nations is committed to supporting safe migration, through international agreements to safeguard refugees and people on the move at large.

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