Quantifying global international migration flows

Science. 2014 Mar 28;343(6178):1520-2. doi: 10.1126/science.1248676.


Widely available data on the number of people living outside of their country of birth do not adequately capture contemporary intensities and patterns of global migration flows. We present data on bilateral flows between 196 countries from 1990 through 2010 that provide a comprehensive view of international migration flows. Our data suggest a stable intensity of global 5-year migration flows at ~0.6% of world population since 1995. In addition, the results aid the interpretation of trends and patterns of migration flows to and from individual countries by placing them in a regional or global context. We estimate the largest movements to occur between South and West Asia, from Latin to North America, and within Africa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Asia, Southeastern
  • Asia, Western
  • Human Migration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Human Migration / trends*
  • Humans
  • Latin America
  • North America
  • Time Factors
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*