UN / MIGRATION REPORT

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15-Jan-2021 00:02:44
COVID-19 has disrupted all forms of human mobility through the closing of national borders and halting of travel worldwide. Preliminary estimates suggest that the pandemic may have slowed the growth in the stock of international migrants by around two million by mid- 2020, 27 per cent less than the growth expected since mid-2019, according to a report by the United Nations released today. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / MIGRATION REPORT
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 15 JANUARY 2021, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

15 JANUARY 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, press briefing room
3.SOUNDBITE (English) John Wilmoth, Director, Population Division, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA):
“Last year in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic affected drastically in all forms of human mobility, including international migration. And while it is too soon to understand the full extend of the impact of the pandemic on migration trends, these new estimates indicate that the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may have reduce the number of international migrants by around two million globally by the middle of 2020, corresponding to a decrease of around 27 per cent in the growth that we would have expected from mid-2019 to mid-2020.”
4. Wide shot, press briefing room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) John Wilmoth, Director, Population Division, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA):
“According to these latest estimates, the number of migrants worldwide reached 281 million persons in 2020, up from 173 million in 2000. Worldwide, international migrants accounts for just 3.6 per cent of the total population, but this share has increased gradually over the years up from 2.8 per cent in 2000.”
6. Wide shot, press briefing room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) John Wilmoth, Director, Population Division, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA):
“The new data confirmed that nearly two thirds of international migrants in 2020 were living in high income countries. International migrants comprised around 15 per cent of the population in high income countries compare to less than two per cent in middle income and low-income countries. Just over half of all international migrants lived in Europe or Northern America. Northern Africa and western Asia posted the highest growth rates in the number of international migrants over the past two decades. And this was driven mostly by the countries in the western Asia, specifically the gulf countries. By contrast, the number of international migrants residing in central and southern Asia has changed very little since 2000.”
8. Wide shot, press briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) John Wilmoth, Director, Population Division, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA):
“Consider the age and sex distribution of international migrants, women comprised a little bit less than half of all international migrants in 2020, and in fact our estimates show that the share of female migrants among all international migrants has declined slightly, from 49.4 per cent in 2000 to 48.1 per cent in 2020, so a slight decrease but notable.”
10.Wide shot, press briefing room
STORYLINE:

COVID-19 has disrupted all forms of human mobility through the closing of national borders and halting of travel worldwide. Preliminary estimates suggest that the pandemic may have slowed the growth in the stock of international migrants by around two million by mid- 2020, 27 per cent less than the growth expected since mid-2019, according to a report by the United Nations released today (15 Jan).

Growth in the number of international migrants has been robust over the last two decades, reaching 281 million people living outside their country of origin in 2020, up from 173 million in 2000 and 221 million in 2010. Currently, international migrants represent about 3.6 per cent of the world’s population.

The report, International Migration 2020 Highlights, by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), provides the latest estimates of the number of international migrants by country of destination, origin, age and sex for all countries and areas of the world.

The report found that two thirds of all international migrants live in just 20 countries. The United States of America remained the largest destination, hosting 51 million international migrants in 2020, equal to 18 per cent of the world’s total. Germany hosted the second largest number of migrants worldwide, at around 16 million, followed by Saudi Arabia (13 million), the Russian Federation (12 million) and the United Kingdom (9 million).

India topped the list of countries with the largest diasporas in 2020, with 18 million persons from India living outside of their country of birth. Other countries with a large transnational community included Mexico and the Russian Federation (11 million each), China (10 million) and Syria (8 million).

Diasporas contribute to the development of their countries of origin through the promotion of foreign investment, trade, access to technology and financial inclusion. However, according to projections by the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic may reduce the volume of remittances sent to low-and middle-income countries from USD 548 billion in 2019 to USD 470 billion in 2021, a decline of USD 78 billion or 14 per cent. The loss has affected the livelihoods of millions of migrants and their families, stalling progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. NationalT strategies and international cooperation will be needed toT mitigate the effects of this loss.

Among the major regions of the world, the largest number of international migrants in 2020 resided in Europe, with a total of 87 million. Northern America hosted the second largest number of migrants, with almost 59 million. Northern Africa and Western Asia followed with a total of nearly 50 million.

In 2020, nearly half of all international migrants resided in the region from which they originated, with Europe accounting for the largest share of intra-regional migration: 70 per cent of migrants born in Europe reside in another European country. The share of intra-regional migration among migrants originating in sub-Saharan Africa was 63 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum, Central and South Asia had the largest share of its diaspora residing outside the region, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean, and Northern America.

Nearly two thirds of all international migrants live in high-income countries, in contrast with just 31 per cent in middle-income countries and around 4 per cent in low-income countries. On the other hand, low- and middle-income countries hosted 80 per cent of the world’s refugees in 2020. Refugees comprise around three per cent of all international migrants in high-income countries, compared to 25 per cent in middle-income countries and 50 per cent in low-income countries.

In 2020, refugees accounted for 12 per cent of all international migrants, up from 9.5 per cent in 2000, as forced displacements across national borders continued to rise faster than voluntary migration. Between 2000 and 2020, the number that had fled conflict, crises, persecution, violence or human rights violations doubled from 17 to 34 million.

Migrant women are catalysts of change, promoting positive social, cultural and political norms within their homes and throughout their communities. Nearly half of all international migrants worldwide were women or girls. In 2020, the number of female migrants slightly exceeded male migrants in Europe, Northern America and Oceania, partially due to a higher life expectancy of women over men. In sub-Saharan Africa and Western Asia, males tend to significantly exceed the number of females, which is attributed to temporary labour migration.

International migrants often make up a larger proportion of working-age persons compared to the national population. In 2020, 73 per cent of all international migrants were between the ages of 20 and 64 years, compared to 57 per cent for the total population. In the absence of international migrants, the ratio of persons aged 65 years or above per 100 persons aged 20 to 64 years, or old age dependency ratio, in high-income countries would have been nearly 3 percentage points higher in 2020.
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