Grand-Saconnex, 11 February 2022 (TDI): For many years the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) has been producing annual world migration reports to gather a greater understanding of migration trends throughout the world. In this sense, the IOM has released the 11th report of the series for the year 2022.
There is a great variety of internal travel restrictions implemented since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
— IOM – UN Migration 🇺🇳 (@UNmigration) February 10, 2022
According to the numbers and statistics gathered through the previous report of 2020, it is estimated that international migrants within the year amounted to a total of 281 million which equates to 3.6% of the world population.
This was a number that has significantly increased compared to the last 5 decades as the total number of international migrants in 1990 was 128 million, which was thrice more than the number that was estimated in 1970.
International remittances are financial transfers from the migrants to their communities or families within their home country. The World Bank takes the responsibility of calculating the level and amount of international transfers made by migrants.
However, it does not take into consideration methodological challenges, myriad data gaps, definitional differences, or unrecorded transfers of financial cash flows through informal means, thus it is assumed the real value of remittances is likely to be much larger than the actual data that was gathered in the report.
According to the report, numbers reflect that there has been a rise in the level of remittances in the last few decades as well. In 2000, the number of remittances was approximately $126 billion, in 2020, this amount increased to $702 billion in the year 2020, this was a total of 2.4% less than the year 2019.
The World Bank reported the countries with the highest income rates were the most common form of remittances, for instance, the US (United States) has been a leading country when it came to the number of remittances sent internationally for decades.
The estimated amount for the US in 2020 was $68 billion. This is followed by the UAE (United Arab Emirates) which had a total of $34.6 billion followed by Switzerland with an estimated amount of $27.96 billion and Germany which was at $22 billion.
COVID19’s impact on migration
Worldwide mobility of human beings has been severely affected as a result of the pandemic, given the high transferability of the pandemic, as well as the number of travel restrictions established by countries, state policymakers mostly focused on curbing the spread of the deadly disease.
As a result of this, there was a large restriction of the freedom of human beings across countries. Most countries during the pandemic, banned the entry of citizens from specific nations, while others closed their borders.
Quarantine measures became necessary for many passengers to enter the country and this required the travelers to stay for a minimum of 10-14 days in isolation upon their arrival into the country.
Europe and Asia house 61% of international migrants in the world
Europe and Asia according to the report, have had the largest number of international migrants, these were followed subsequently by North America which houses 59 million international migrants according to the 2020 world migration report, Africa housing 9%, Latin America including the Caribbean which houses 5% and lastly, Oceania housing 3% of the international migrants.
When the number of migrants was put against the statistics reflecting the population size of each country, the percentage amount of international migrants marked the highest in Oceania (22% of the total population), followed by North America (16%) followed by Europe (12%).
In Asia, Latin America as well as the Caribbean, and Africa on the other hand, the percentage share of the population the migrants made up was relatively less in comparison. Statistics were 1.8%, 2.3% and 1.9% respectively).
Varying degree of migrants across the world
It is not to say that the majority of migrants specifically choose to migrate across international borders, rather a greater number of migrants move within countries, according to the 2009 migration report, in 2009 alone, there were a total of 740 million migrants had migrated internally.
However, over the years, there has been an increase in the number of international migrants proportionally and numerically and this increase was at a relatively higher pace of increase than what was predicted.
While 3.6% of the international migrants make up 3.6% of the world’s population, there is a wide variation within country levels, for instance, in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) international migrants make up 88% of the total population.
Migration and birth
Examining the overall trend of migration. It was discovered a large factor that determined which country would receive a greater number of international migrants largely depended on the potential to gain the countries passport.
As shown by the Henley Passport Index which is a worldwide index that ranks the countries in terms of the freedom of entrance given to their citizens to other nations reveals nationality is a large determinant of whether an individual can enter within another country.
Furthermore, the status of visa broadly reflects the status of the country along with its relations with the other countries within the international arena, determining exactly how safe, prosperous or stable it was with other states.
Moreover, another indicator that is reflected through this data is that of the large variations or differences amongst countries that ranked highly in the HDI (Human Development Index), the countries that fell in the middle; the countries within these two categories are seen as those that are highly demanded destinations for many individuals.
The citizens of the countries that ranked highly on the HDI; are able to travel without a visa to 85% of the international nations and such countries are also considered as important states that are often considered as preferable destination states.
On the other hand, the countries that are ranked low at the HDI often face grave visa restrictions which makes migration also difficult for the citizens of such countries.