The Future of International Migration to OECD Countries

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This book explores the social, economic and environmental forces that may combine to attract migrants of various types and backgrounds to OECD countries, as well as those that may persuade migrants to leave their countries or to stay at home. By analysing different pull and push factors and constructing five different scenarios of migration in the future, this volume casts light on major determinants of global migration flows, which OECD countries will look particularly attractive for migrants, where the pressures to migrate be especially strong and what kind of migration-related issues will policy makers likely be facing as 2030 approaches.

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Migration “Push” Factors in Non-OECD Countries over the Long Term

The OECD/IFP secretariat which prepared the “push synthesis” chapter set itself the task of pulling together data from various sources including the World Bank, various UN agencies and specialised agencies, research institutes and OECD statistics. Approximately seventy indicators were developed for all OECD countries and a selection of thirty non-OECD countries. Some of the results are used in this chapter. A large part of the international migration literature focuses on pull factors in host countries. It turned out that the push perspective is somewhat less researched. Finding reliable and comparable data for non-OECD countries has been a challenging task and the difficulty in obtaining comparable data reflects partly the shortcomings of developing countries’ statistical offices. This “push synthesis” chapter draws examples – mainly qualitative – from regional notes prepared for the OECD/International Futures Programme by external experts. Their names can be found in Annex B. The experts were asked to give an overview of current and future mobility in their region. They provided a largely qualitative assessment of the likely evolution of factors in non-OECD countries which could influence the movement of people out of these countries, either in the form of intra-regional migration or to OECD countries, through to 2025/2030. The purpose of the push chapter is to give an overview and evaluate the most salient “push” factors in non-OECD countries that will impact on future migration flows, in particular to the OECD area. It was decided by the steering group supporting and guiding the preparations of the experts’ workshop The Future of International Migration to OECD Countries that policies would not be discussed. The so-called Push-Pull Model used in our analysis is the most commonly known theoretical concept, inherent in most economic models on migration. This model delineates the fundamental causes of migration whereby economic factors remain the most important push factors, next to demographic and political factors. Migration is viewed therein as a short-term response to differentials between countries and regions but not as a long-term solution.

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