Migrant numbers could soar to 405 million by 2050: IOM

29th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

The number of international migrants could soar by 68 percent to 405 million in 2050, the IOM said Monday, noting that emerging economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America are becoming important destinations.

"There are far more international migrants in the world today than ever previously recorded -- 214 million," said the International Organization for Migration in its annual report.

"If the migrant population continues to increase at the same pace as the last 20 years, the stock of international migrants worldwide by 2050 could be as high as 405 million," added the inter-governmental agency.

It noted that a key reason for the rise is the significant growth in the workforce in developing countries as populations in developed countries are ageing.

"Current demographic imbalances between developed and developing countries are predicted to increase in the near future," noted the report.

By 2025 young people entering the workforce in developing countries will surpass the current total workforce in industrialised states, the IOM said.

Fast-growing economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America are meanwhile becoming increasingly popular as destination countries for migrant workers, it said.

They "not only emphasize the increasing importance of south-south migration movements, but the need for further investment in migration management in these regions," noted the IOM.

The United States however remains the top destination for migrants, with 42.8 million in 2010, around 20 percent of the number across the world.

Other countries with high foreign-born populations include Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Canada, France, Britain, Spain, India and Ukraine, it said.

© 2010 AFP

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