International Migration Outlook

1999-124X (online)
1995-3968 (print)
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OECD’s annual publication analysing recent developments in migration movements and policies in its countries. Each edition provides the latest statistical information on immigrant stocks and flows, immigrants in the labour market, and migration policies. Country notes provide detailed policy information for each OECD country and special chapters look at current issues in immigration.

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International Migration Outlook 2006

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08 June 2006
9789264036284 (PDF) ;9789264036277(print)

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This first edition of the International Migration Outlook, a revised and expanded version of what was previously published under the title Trends in International Migration, brings the reader detailed analysis of recent trends in migration movements and policies in OECD countries. For the first time, it includes harmonised statistics on long-term international migration inflows for most OECD countries. The report highlights the growing importance of immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, China and Latin America, as well as the increasing feminisation of the flows. 

This volume covers the increasing interest of member countries in the recruitment of highly skilled immigrants as well as the recourse to temporary, often seasonal, low-skilled immigrants. Special attention is paid to improving the management of migration flows and integration policies focusing on programmes for newcomers, from compulsory language courses to job-oriented initiatives, and to the strengthening of anti-discrimination and diversity measures. Developments in international co-operation for labour migration as well as for better border control in the fight against irregular migration are also described, with a special focus on the impact of the European Union enlargement on inflows of immigrant workers to OECD countries.


This publication also includes special chapters dealing with the management of migration inflows through quotas and numerical limits and  a new  look at the links between migration, remittances and the economic development of sending countries. Country notes, under a new format for this edition, describe recent trends in migration movements and policies, including re-designed standardised tables. The statistical annex contains the latest data on foreign and foreign-born populations, migration flows and naturalisations.

"The best source of analysis on the economic impact of migration."

-Hamish McRae, The Independent

Also available in French, German, Spanish
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  • Managing Migration
    International migration has jumped up the policy agenda in most OECD countries over the past decade. There are several reasons for this. First, immigration flows grew rapidly during the 1990s and are now growing again, using at times irregular or unconventional channels (asylum seeking, tourism overstaying). There are currently close to three million long-term immigrants entering OECD countries legally every year, and even more temporary movements, if international students are included (see Chapter 1). And this does not count unauthorised movements. Secondly, with ageing populations and falling interest in certain occupations in OECD countries (sciences, building trades), it is expected that there will be need for more worker immigration in the near future.
  • Part I - Recent Trends in International Migration
    The first part of the current report International Migration Outlook is divided in three sections describing the principal developments observed this last three years. The first of these sections looks at changes in migration movements (I.A); the second focuses on the status of immigrants in the labour market (I.B), while the third provides an overview on migration policies (I.C).
  • Part II - Managing Migration – Are Quotas and Numerical Limits the Solution?
    The prospect of ageing populations in OECD countries and the appearance of skill shortages in certain occupations have brought the issue of a pro-active migration policy onto the government agenda in many countries. If indeed there will be a need for more foreign workers in the future, how are the migration movements to meet this need to be organised and managed?
  • Part III - International Migrant Remittances and their Role in Development
    Migrant remittances are a steadily growing external source of capital for developing countries. While foreign direct investments and capital market flows fell sharply in the last years due to the recession in the high income countries, migrant remittances continued to grow, reaching USD 149.4 billion in 2002. The importance of remittances in compensating the human capital loss of developing countries through migration and their potential in boosting economic growth was already recognised in the beginning of the 1980s. A wide range of issues related to remittances became the subject of political debate, as well as of more in-depth research. These topics include the determinants of remittances, the transfer channels used and their economic impact on the remittance receiving countries. Over the past years, partly because of the sharp increase in remittance flows, the research on these issues gained momentum, resulting in a mushrooming of scientific literature
  • Part IV - Recent Changes in Migration Movements and Policies (Country Notes)
  • Statistical Annex
    Most of the data published in this annex are taken from the individual contributions of national correspondents appointed by the OECD Secretariat with the approval of the authorities of member countries. Consequently, these data have not necessarily been harmonised at international level. This network of correspondents, constituting the Continuous Reporting System on Migration (SOPEMI), covers most OECD member countries as well as the Baltic States, Bulgaria and Romania. SOPEMI has no authority to impose changes in data collection procedures. It has an observatory role which, by its very nature, has to use existing statistics. However, it does play an active role in suggesting what it considers to be essential improvements in data collection and makes every effort to present consistent and well-documented statistics.
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