World Migration Report 2024 | 10 Jun 2024

Why in News?

Recently, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has released its World Migration Report 2024.

  • The report presents key global and regional migration data and trends, along with relevant thematic issues.
  • It sets out in clear and accurate terms  the changes occurring in migration and mobility globally.

Who is a Migrant?

  • According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, a migrant is a person living for more than 12 months outside their country of birth.
  • There were around 281 million international migrants in the world in 2020, which equates to 3.6% of the global population.

What are the Reasons for Migration?

What are the Positive Impacts of Migration?

  • Migration is a driver of human development and can generate significant benefits for migrants, their families and countries of origin.
    • Boost to Local Economy:
      • The wages that migrants earn abroad can be many multiples of what they could earn doing similar jobs at home.
      • Wages earned abroad help in sustaining the local economy in the origin country, especially at the village level.
    • Skill Development: 
      • Migration can also provide an important skills boost, which can be critically important for destination countries experiencing population declines.
    • Fills Demand and Supply Gap:
      • Migration has a positive effect on the labor market by increasing labor supply in sectors and occupations suffering from shortages of workers, as well as helping address mismatches in the job market.
      • Lower skilled immigrant workers often complement the skills of existing workers rather than directly competing with them. Hence, it can generate additional employment opportunities for existing workers. 
    • Innovation:
      • Migrants provide a source of dynamism globally and are overrepresented in innovation and patents, arts and sciences awards, start-ups and successful companies.
    • Reduced Economic Pressure:
      • The immigration of young workers can also help with easing pressures on the pension systems of high income countries with rapidly aging populations.
      • Expanded workforce means more people are paying into the pension system through taxes and contributions, which helps support the payments to current retirees.

How are International Migration and Long-Term Population Trends Related?

  • For high income countries between 2000 and 2020, the contribution of international migration to population growth (net inflow of 80.5 million) exceeded the balance of births over deaths (66.2 million). 
  • Over the next few decades, migration will be the sole driver of population growth in high income countries
  • In developing countries, the outflows were due to temporary labor movements, such as for Pakistan (net flow of −16.5 million), India (−3.5 million), Bangladesh (−2.9 million), Nepal (−1.6 million) and Sri Lanka (−1.0 million). 
  • In Syria (−4.6  million), Venezuela (−4.8 million) and Myanmar (−1.0 million), insecurity and conflict drove the outflow of migrants.

What is the Pattern of International Remittances due to Migration?

  • Remittances are financial or in-kind transfers made by migrants directly to families or communities in their countries of origin.
  • Migrants sent an estimated USD 831 billion in international remittances globally in 2022, an increase from USD 791 billion in 2021.
  • Since the mid-1990s, international remittances have greatly surpassed official development assistance levels. They have also recently overtaken foreign direct investment.
  • Low and middle-income countries continued to receive vast sums of remittance inflows, which increased by 8% between 2021 and 2022 from USD 599 billion to USD 647 billion.
  • Recipient Countries:
    • In 2022, India, Mexico, China, the Philippines and France were (in descending order) the top five remittance recipient countries.
    • India received more than USD 111 billion, the first country to reach and even surpass the USD 100 billion mark.
    • Among G7 countries, France and Germany remained in the top 10 of receiving countries globally in 2022.
  • Source Countries:
    • High income countries are the main source of international remittances. 
    • The United States is the top remittance sending country in the world, with a total outflow of USD 79.15 billion in 2022, followed by Saudi Arabia (USD 39.35 billion), Switzerland (USD 31.91 billion) and Germany (USD 25.60 billion).
  • The top five remittance receiving countries by share of GDP in 2022 were Tajikistan (51%) followed by Tonga (44%), Lebanon (36%), Samoa (34%) and Kyrgyzstan (31%).

What is the Migration Trend among International students?

  • The number of internationally mobile students globally has significantly increased over the last two decades.
    • In 2001, this number was at just over 2.2 million. It increased to over 6 million in 2021.
  • In 2021, around 3 million internationally mobile students were female (47%) and males comprised around 3.4 million (52%).
  • Countries in Asia are the origins of the largest number of internationally mobile students in the world.
    • In 2021, more than 1 million internationally mobile students were from China followed by India (around 508,000).
  • The United States (more than 833,000) is the largest destination country for internationally mobile students in the world followed by the United Kingdom (nearly 601,000), Australia (around 378,000), Germany (over 376,000) and Canada (nearly 318,000).  

What is the Status of Refugees and Asylum Seekers?

  • By the end of 2022, there were a total of 35.3 million refugees globally, with 29.4 million under UNHCR’s mandate, and 5.9 million refugees registered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the Near East.
  • At the end of 2022, those under 18 years of age constituted around 41% of the overall 35.3 million refugee population.
  • At the end of 2022, the top 10 countries of origin were Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Eritrea.
    •  They accounted for more than 87% of the total refugee population.
  • In 2022, for the seventh consecutive year, Turkiye was the largest host country in the world, with nearly 3.6 million refugees, mainly Syrians.
    • Pakistan and Iran were also among the top 10 refugee hosting countries, as the two principal hosts of refugees from Afghanistan.
  • According to UNHCR, the least developed countries hosted a large number of refugees.
    • One in five of all refugees globally were hosted in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • 90% of all refugees in Asia and the Pacific were hosted in just three countries. i.e., Iran (3.4 million), Pakistan (1.7 million) and Bangladesh (952,400).

What is IOM’s role in resettlement?

  • Providing essential support to States in resettling refugees and other humanitarian entrants is a fundamental purpose and is among its largest ongoing activities.
  • Overall, IOM assisted 30 States in conducting admissions and relocation programmes.
  • Through the Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Initiative (CRISP), IOM and UNHCR assisted with building resettlement capacity and technical expertise in new resettlement countries, such as Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
  • IOM works in close collaboration with UNHCR on a regular basis to verify and better align aggregate data related to resettlement, specifically around figures for departures.

What are the Developments Related to Migration in Southern Asia?

  • Climate Change:
    • In 2022, countries such as India and Pakistan experienced record-breaking heatwaves and in the same year, the monsoon season floods left a trail of destruction, particularly in Pakistan.  
    • The 2022 floods in Pakistan resulted in nearly 1,700 deaths and more than 8 million displacements.
    • In 2022 alone, disasters triggered over 1.5 million displacements in Bangladesh.
  • Economic Factors:
    • Three countries in Southern Asia (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) rank among the top ten recipients of international remittances in the world.
    • India is the origin of the largest number of international migrants in the world (nearly 18 million), with large diasporas living in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Saudi Arabia.
  • Political Instability:
    • Millions of Afghans are either internally displaced or have fled their country over the years.
      • Most refugees from the country are hosted in neighboring countries, particularly Pakistan and Iran. 
    • Bangladesh ranked among the top 10 refugee hosting countries in the world, most of them Rohingya displaced from Myanmar.

What is the Status of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)?

  • The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) compiles data on two types of internal displacement i.e., 
  • At an estimated 62.5 million, the total global stock of people internally displaced by conflict and violence as of 31st December 2022 was the highest on record.
    • Most countries were either in the Middle East or Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Syria had the highest number of people displaced due to conflict (nearly 6.9 million) followed by Ukraine (5.9 million), Democratic Republic of the Congo (almost 5.7 million), Colombia (around 4.8 million) and Yemen (4.5 million).
  • In 2022, Ukraine (over 16 million) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (4 million) topped the list with the highest numbers of displacements caused by conflict and violence.
    • They were followed by Ethiopia (2 million), Myanmar (1 million) and Somalia (621,000). 
  • Pakistan experienced the highest absolute numbers of disaster displacements in 2022 (approximately 8.2 million).


Understanding the evolving dynamics of migration and displacement is crucial due to their significant impact on states, communities, and individuals in a globalized world. Geopolitical, environmental, and technological transformations have altered these patterns. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration calls for improved international cooperation, better data collection, and research to develop evidence-based responses. Long-term data indicate that global mobility inequality has worsened over the past 25 years, making the implementation of the Global Compact an urgent priority.