Innovative graph shows global migrant flow over 20 years

Published:  21 Apr at 6 PM
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Researchers have published a graph showing the migrant pattern between countries over the last 20 years.

Many believe the 21st century to be the century of migration, with surveys suggesting that more people than ever before are keen to try for a new life outside their country of birth. However, a new and innovative graph has demonstrated that .6 of the total world population migrated to another country every five years during the past two decades.

The authors of the graph, researchers Guy Abel and Nikola Sander of Vienna’s Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Human Capital, aimed their research at visually depicting the flow of migrants by intensity and pattern. Previous research into world migration had simply listed the total of people living outside their birth countries.

The graph details patterns of migration in 196 global countries, showing both the destinations and origins of migrants between 1990 and 2010. The first finding was that citizens of Europe chose the most diverse destinations, whilst migrants from African countries stayed within the continent’s borders.

The largest migrations were within Africa, between west and south Asia and from Latin America to the USA and Canada. Also noted was that developed countries tended towards net migration gains, whilst less developed states lost more people than they gained.

According to Drs Sander and Abel, the majority of significant flows were from Asia to the USA and the Gulf States, with the exception of Mexico to the USA. Malaysia and India featured strongly with large flows of migrants and immigrants, reinforcing the theory that redistribution of populations is in part caused by differentials in educational standards.

The UK was not within the top 20 for migration flows in either direction, although between 2005 and 2010, 1.62 million arrivals were noted against just 640,000 departures. Those who left headed mainly for Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
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