Perspectives on Global Development 2017

International Migration in a Shifting World

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Perspectives on Global Development 2017 presents an overview of the shifting of economic activity to developing countries and examines whether this shift has led to an increase in international migration towards developing countries. The report focuses on the latest data on migration between 1995 and 2015, and uses a new three-way categorisation of countries. It describes the recent evolution of migration overall as well as by groups of countries according to their growth performance.It analyses what drives these trends and also studies the special case of refugees. It examines the impact on migration of migration policies as well as various sectoral policies in developing countries of origin as well as of destination, and studies the impact of migration on these countries. The report also develops four illustrative future scenarios of migration in 2030 and recommends policies that can help improve the benefits of migration for origin and destination countries, as well as for migrants. Better data, more research and evidence-based policy action are needed to prepare for expected increases in the number of migrants from developing countries. More needs to be done to avoid situations that lead to refugee spikes as well as to foster sustainable development.

English Also available in: French

Executive summary

OECD Development Centre

Some 243 million people were living outside their country of birth in 2015, accounting for 3.3% of the world’s population, up from 2.7% in 1995. The shift in global economic activity towards developing countries (low- and middle-income countries) in the last two decades has not led to a parallel shift in migration towards these countries. Using a new three-way classification of countries to explore the impact of shifting wealth on migration, this report shows that migrants are instead increasingly attracted to traditional, high-income destination countries. Between 1995 and 2015, the share of immigrants to these countries increased by 13 percentage points to nearly two-thirds of the world total. Furthermore, economic development in developing countries has boosted international migration as more people have the financial resources needed to migrate.

English Also available in: French

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