World migration trends

The Conversable Economist blog cites and comments on new U.N. report on migrants worldwide.  Here are excerpts:

“….there were around 244 million international migrants in the world in 2015, which equates to 3.3 per cent of the global population…. In 2016 there were 40.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) worldwide… the total number of people estimated to have been displaced globally is the highest on record. …

“The wages that migrants earn abroad can be many multiples of what they could earn doing similar jobs at home. For example, a study conducted in 2009 found that the ratio of wages earned by workers in the United States to wages earned by identical workers with the same country of birth, years of schooling, age and sex, and rural/urban residence) abroad [has a median ratio of 4.11.

“….according to a recent report by the World Bank, immigrants from the poorest countries, on average, experienced a 15-fold increase in income, a doubling of school enrollment rates, and a 16-fold reduction in child mortality after moving to a developed country,

“According to the World Bank, in 1990 migrants remitted around USD 29 billion to lower- and middle-income countries in 1990. This amount had more than doubled to USD 74 billion in 2000 and reached USD 429 billion in 2016. Globally, remittances are now more than three times the amount of official development assistance.

“….it is increasingly recognized that migrants can play a significant role in post-conflict reconstruction and recovery.

“… Immigration increases both the supply of and the demand for labour, which means that labour immigration (including of lower-skilled workers) can generate additional employment opportunities for existing workers. Of course, immigration can also have adverse labour market effects (e.g. on wages and employment of domestic workers), but most of the research literature finds that these negative impacts tend to be quite small, at least on average.

….in contrast to popular perceptions, a recent OECD study found that the net fiscal effects of immigration, i.e. the taxes migrants pay minus the benefits and government services they receive, tend to be quite small and – for most OECD countries analysed in the study – positive.”


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