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The figures in this interactive feature refer to the total number (or cumulative “stocks”) of migrants living around the world as of 1990, 2000, 2010 or 2017 rather than to the annual rate of migration (or current “flows”) in a given year. Since migrants have both an origin and a destination, international migrants can be viewed from two directions – as an emigrant (leaving an origin country) or as an immigrant (entering a destination country). According to the United Nations Population Division, an international migrant is someone who has been living for one year or longer in a country other than the one in which he or she was born. This means that many foreign workers and international students are counted as migrants. Additionally, the UN considers refugees and, in some cases, their descendants (such as Palestinians born in refugee camps outside of the Palestinian territories) to be international migrants. For the purposes of this interactive feature, estimates of the number of unauthorized immigrants living in various countries are also included in the total counts. On the other hand, tourists, foreign-aid workers, temporary workers employed abroad for less than a year and overseas military personnel typically are not counted as migrants. Analysis: International migration from sub-Saharan Africa has grown dramatically since 2010, February 2018 India is a top source and destination for world’s migrants, March 2017 International migration: Key findings from the U.S., Europe and the world, December 2016 About four-in-ten of the world’s migrants live in the U.S. or Europe, June 2016 5 facts about the U.S. rank in worldwide migration, May 2016
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. We do not take policy positions.