The UN estimates that there were 258 million international migrants globally (or 3.4% of the world’s population) in 2017, according to a report published on Tuesday December 18, International Migrants Day.
The UN found that in 2017, 189,000 migrants lived in Cyprus, or 16% of the country’s 1.2 million population, a percentage far higher than the global rate. 9,700 of them are refugees.
It is estimated that around 13,000 migrants move to Cyprus each year.
In addition 163,700 Cypriots have moved from the island and became emigrants in other countries.
The U.S. has the biggest number of migrants in its population with 49.8 million or 15.3%, a lower percentage than Cyprus. Saudi Arabia and Germany with 12.2 million are the in second place.
The country which hosts the least migrants is Montserrat, with 1,400, who although make up 26.3% of its population as the Caribbean country is home to just 4,900 people.
Find a UN interactive map which shows the number of migrants and relevant information in each world country here.
According to the UN, in 2017, with 16.6 million persons living abroad, India was the leading country of origin of international migrants. Migrants from Mexico constituted the second largest “diaspora” in the world (13.0 million), followed by those from the Russian Federation (10.6 million), China (10.0 million), Bangladesh (7.5 million), the Syrian Arab Republic (6.9 million), Pakistan (6.0 million), Ukraine (5.9 million), the Philippines (5.7 million) and the United Kingdom (4.9 million).
Asia and Europe are the top regions of origin for international migrants
Two-third of all international migrants were born in Asia or Europe. In 2017, Asia was the region of origin of an estimated 106 million international migrants, representing 41 per cent of the global total. Europe was the source of the second largest number of international migrants (61 million), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (38 million), Africa (36 million), Northern America (4 million) and Oceania (2 million).
Between 2000 and 2017, the percentage of international migrants originating in Asia increased from 38 to 41 (figure 2). During the same period, the share of international migrants born in Europe fell from 29 to 24 per cent, while the proportions originating in Africa and in Latin America and the Caribbean remained stable at 14 and 15 per cent, respectively. Only about 2.5 per cent of international migrants worldwide were born in Northern America or Oceania.
Refugees represent a small share of all migrants
Refugees and asylum seekers constitute roughly 10 per cent of all international migrants. Between 2000 and 2017, the number of refugees and asylum seekers increased from 16 to 26 million, and their share of the total number of international migrants increased from 9 to 10 per cent.
In 2017, the 10 leading countries of asylum hosted 62 per cent of the global refugee population, with the largest numbers in Turkey (3.1 million), Jordan (2.9 million) and the State of Palestine (2.2 million).
One in every 300 persons worldwide is a refugee
In 2017, about 0.3 per cent of the global population was a refugee. As a fraction of the total population, Africa hosts the largest number of refugees (0.5 per cent), while Latin America and the Caribbean host the smallest number (0.06 per cent). In 2017, the countries with the highest percentage of refugees in the total population included the State of Palestine (44 per cent), Jordan (30 per cent) and Lebanon (26 per cent).
Did you know that?
- EU citizens living abroad in another EU country had a higher employment rate (76.1 %) than those residing in the country of which they were citizens (72.1 %)?
- The unemployment rate for migrants born outside the EU was 4 percentage points higher than the rate for the native-born population?
- In around half of the EU Member States a higher percentage of the foreign-born working-age population had a tertiary level of education compared to the native-born population?
- Almost 4 out of 10 foreign citizens in the EU faced the risk of being in poverty or socially excluded?
- The median equivalised income of EU citizens living in another EU Member State was 6 % higher than that recorded for nationals; whereas the median income of non-EU citizens was 24.2 % lower than the one for nationals?
- The risk of poverty for children in the EU who had at least one parent with foreign citizenship stood at 8 %, almost twice as high than it was for children whose both parents were nationals (18.8 %)?
- In the EU, 7 out of 10 nationals owned their home, compared to only 3 in 10 foreign citizens?
(Information from UN, Eurostat)
Written by Stelios Marathovouniotis