The Migration Policy Institute has produced a new interactive tool that lets us analyze global migration patterns. According to the United Nations, an estimated 232 million people—approximately 3.2 percent of the global population—live as international migrants abroad.
International migration is driven by many factors. Political asylum seekers hoping to escape repression, economic refugees hoping for better lives and new opportunities abroad, and slaves and sex trafficking victims forced abroad against their will are all grouped into the broad category of “international migrants.”
Just ten countries receive half of all international migrants: the United States (45.8 million), Russia (11 million), Germany (9.8 million, Saudi Arabia (9.1 million), the United Arab Emirates (7.8 million), the United Kingdom (7.8 million), France (7.4 million), Canada &7.3 million), Australia (6.5 million), and Spain (6.5 million). But South-South immigration is quickly increasing, with migration to Asia increasing at the quickest rate since 2000.
Given the complexity of global migration dynamics, the new interactive tool provides a useful way to analyze the data and to note some interesting trends. As the New Republic observes,
The map, which allows you to select by country and by immigrants or emigrants, is a font of fun facts. For instance: While there are 13 million Mexican immigrants in the U.S., more Americans immigrate to Mexico (849,000) than to any other country. Or: There are more Ukrainians in Russia (3 million) than from any other country, and there are more Russians in Ukraine (3.5 million) than from any other country.
So take a look and see what patterns you can find.