Almost 232 million migrants and 45 million refugees and internally displaced persons
In the global South, migrants are increasingly young. More than half of the refugees are children. Europe has received the largest number of migrants (1.1 million per year), followed by Asia (1.0 million), North America (0.6 million) and Africa (0.5 million). This year (as of 25 September), 3,903 migrants have died according to official figures.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Holy See Press Office issued today Pope Francis’ message for the 2016 World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The theme chosen is “Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy.”

Based on the data presented at the briefing, the number of international migrants worldwide reached 232 million in 2013, that is up by 77 million since 2000 or 50 per cent since 1990.1 In 2013, 136 million or 59 per cent of international migrants lived in the North, whilst 96 million or 41 per cent resided in the South.2

Of these estimated 136 million, about 82 million (60 per cent) were born in a developing country, whilst the remaining 54 million (or 40 per cent) were born in another country the Nord.3 Of the approximately 96 million international migrants living in the South, about 82 million (86 per cent) were born in the South, whilst the remaining 14 million (14 per cent) are from North.4

Between 2010 and 2013, the rise in the number of international migrants dropped to about 3.6 million a year. During this period, Europe received the largest number (1.1 million per year), followed by Asia (1 million) and North America (0.6 million). In Africa, the annual increase hovered around 0.5 million, this despite a sharp drop in the number of refugees.5

Globally, the proportion of women migrants remained relatively stable, going from 49.1 per cent in 2000 to 48.0 per cent in 2013. Between 2000 and 2013, the percentage rose due to better life expectancy for women in Australia and New Zealand, North America, South America and Western Europe. By contrast, the proportion of women migrants in Africa dropped from 47.2 to 45.9 per cent, whilst in Asia, it fell from 45.4 to 41.6 per cent in the same period, due to the increasing demand for manual labour.6

The number of international migrants under 20 years rose from 30.9 million in 2000 to 34.9 million in 2013, primarily among developing countries. Hence, the overall share of young migrants in the developing world rose from 56 per cent in 2000 to 62 per cent in 2013.

Between 2000 and 2013, Asia had the largest number of young migrants - almost 3.1 million. Conversely, North America saw the number of young international migrants drop by 0.6 million.

In 2013, the percentage of migrants under 20 years was higher in Africa (30 per cent), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (24 per cent).7

In general, migratory flows follow four directions: North-North, South-South, South-North and North-South. According to the 2013 World Migration Report BY the World Organisation for Migration (IOM), the most common migratory streams are:8

  1. North-North: from Germany to the United States, followed by the United Kingdom to Australia; from Canada, South Korea and the United Kingdom to the United States of America.
  2. South-South: migration from Ukraine to the Russian Federation, followed by migration from the Russian Federation to the Ukraine; from Bangladesh to Bhutan, and from Kazakhstan to the Russian Federation and Afghanistan.
  3. South-North: migration from Mexico to the United States, followed by Turkey to Germany; finally, from the Philippines, China and India to the United States of America.
  4. North-South: from the United States to Mexico and South Africa, followed by migration from Germany to Turkey, from Portugal to Brazil and, finally, from Italy to Argentina.

In terms of the pastoral care provided by the Church, two more factors are important.

IOM’s 2013 report notes first that most migrants in the world are men, except in the North-North flow.9 Secondly, the report found that migrants in the South are increasingly young with three trends standing out.10 First, the proportion of migrants under 24 years is much higher in the South than in the North, especially for the 0-14 age group. Secondly, the 19-65 age group is conversely more present in the North. Finally, the data show greater movement among older migrants, especially women. This, according to the report, is due to improved living conditions, or difficulties in the country of origin.

* * *

NOTE – REFUGEES

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) - last update: 29 September 2015

 

* sea arrivals in Europe in 2015:

522,134

* Dead/missing in 2015:

2,892 (3,036 in 2014)

 

Arrivals in Europe by sea:

522,134

ITALY

130,891

GREECE

388,324

SPAIN

2,819

MALTA

100

 

5 main countries of origin (in 2015)

IN ITALY:

- Eritrea

30,708

- Nigeria

15,113

- Somalia

8,790

- Sudan

7,126

- Syria

6,710

 

IN GREECE:

- Syria

175375

- Afghanistan

50,177

- Pakistan

11,289

- Albania

10,985

- Iraq

9,059

 

In 2015, migrants did not die only in the Mediterranean Sea. As of 25 September 2015, 3,903 migrants died (only documented deaths) in the following regions:

 

Mediterranean

2,892

Bay of Bengal

460

US-Mexico border

133

Europe

114

Southeast Asia

99

Horn of Africa

86

Sahara

48

Caribbean

46

Southeast Africa

30

Central America

19

East Asia

15

Southern Africa

2

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UNHCR Statistics (Global Trends 2014 - 7 January 2015

Worldwide, there are about 46.3 million refugees and internally displaced persons.

After Syria (which has 7.6 million internally displaced people and 3.88 million refugees) and Afghanistan (2,590,000), the main countries of origin of refugees are:

Somalia, with more than 1.1 million people, mainly in Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen;

 

Sudan

670,000

South Sudan

509,000

Dem. Rep. of Congo

493,000

Myanmar

480,000

Iraq

426,000

Colombia

397,000

 

As for host countries, more than 1.6 million Afghans sought refuge in Pakistan.

 

Lebanon

1.1 million in refugee camps

Iran

982,000

Turkey

824,000

Jordan

737,000

Ethiopia

588,000

Kenya

537,000

Chad

455,000

 

Other relevant information:

- in 2014, there were 13.9 million new forced migrants - four times more than in 2010.

- 19.5 million refugees in 2014, against 16.7 million in 2013;

- 38.2 million internally displaced people in 2014, compared to 33.3 million in 2013;

- 1.8 million people waiting for formal asylum in 2014, compared to 1.2 million in 2013;

- more than half of the world’s refugees are children;

- nearly 9 out of 10 refugees (approximately 86 per cent) are in regions and countries considered less economically developed.

- more than a quarter of all refugees are in less developed countries, as defined by the United Nations.

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1 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013), Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2013 Revision - Migrants by Age and Sex.

2 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, International Migration Report 2013, 1.

3 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, International Migration Report 2013, 1.

4 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, International Migration Report 2013, 1.

5 United Nations General Assembly, International Migration and Development. Report of the Secretary-General (A/68/190 - 25 July 2015), p.6.

6 United Nations General Assembly, International Migration and Development. Report of the Secretary-General (A/68/190 - 25 July 2015), p.6.

7 United Nations General Assembly, International Migration and Development. Report of the Secretary-General (A/68/190 - 25 July 2015), p.6.

8 International Organization for Migration, World Migration Report 2013, p. 62.

9 International Organization for Migration, World Migration Report 2013, p. 65.

10 International Organization for Migration, World Migration Report 2013, p. 66.

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