Jan. 12, 2016 – The number of people living outside their home countries increased by more than 40 percent since 2000, according to new figures from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Europe hosts 76 million of the world’s 244 million migrants, closely followed by Asia, 75 million, and North America, 54 million.
At the country level, there are 46 million migrants living in the United States, almost a fifth of the global total; followed by Germany and Russia, 12 million each; Saudi Arabia, 10 million; the UK, 10 million; and the UAE, 8 million.
The biggest source country for migrants is India, 16 million; followed by Mexico, 12 million. Other countries with large numbers of citizens living outside their borders are Russia, 11 million; China, 10 million; Bangladesh, 7 million; Pakistan and Ukraine, 6 million.
As a percentage of the total population in Europe and North America, migrants make up 23 percent of Australia’s population; 21 percent in Canada, 17.5 percent in Austria; 17 percent in Sweden; 16 percent in Ireland; 15 percent in Germany; 14.5 percent in the US; and 14 percent in the UK.
The figures are much higher for Gulf countries with migrants making up 88 percent of the UAE’s population; 75 percent in Qatar; 73 percent in Kuwait; 50 percent in Bahrain; 41 percent in Bahrain; and 32 percent in Saudi Arabia. Men make up the majority of migrants in these countries, recruited mostly to work in the energy and construction sectors.
Overall in Asia, there are 44 million male migrants and 32 million female migrants.
Sixty-seven percent of international migrants reside in just 20 countries with nine located in Asia, seven in Europe and two in North America.
Women account for 49 percent of international migrants and the average age for all migrants is 39 with 72 percent of migrants aged between 20 and 64. Just 12 percent of migrants are aged 65 or over with the authors of the report noting that many migrants return to their home country for retirement.
- Denis Fitzgerald