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Global immigration rockets by more than 50% in last twenty years

September 2013, 16
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A new study has revealed that the number of immigrants around the world has shot up by more than 50% since 1990.
 
The research published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said that there were now in excess of 232 million people living in a different country to the one in which they were born, a total of 3.2% of the world's population. 
 

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Immigration used to almost be a dirty word with countries keen to restrict the number of immigrants arriving from overseas. However, this is no longer the
 case and some countries such as Germany for example are actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas in a bid to boost a sagging labour force. 
 
This shift in attitudes is reflected in the figures with the numbers of people choosing to immigrate climbing sharply in the last 23 years. In 1990, there were just 154 global immigrants, rising to 175 million by the year 2000 which then exploded to the current rate of 232 million.
 
Singapore and Thailand popular immigration hotspots
The report from the UN provided some further information about the immigration patterns emerging from all over the world.


A passport and immigration slip for Singapore

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US remained the single top immigration destination. However, despite being the most sought-after country to move to, the US was not the nation which has seen the biggest rise in numbers since 2000.
 
Asia has n
otched up the largest increase in immigrants during the last 13 years, with numbers of arrivals rising by 20 million. Much of this has been driven by the demand for foreign labour, particularly in nations such as Singapore and Thailand, where many new jobs have been created i
n the oil and natural gas sector.
 
Singapore has a long history of being an immigrant-friendly destination and typically attracts workers from the marine, construction and hospitality industries. But in the last 25 years the government has made a particular effort to woo foreign students, including persuading universities in the west to set up remote campuses on their soil.
 

Europe remains high on immigration list

But despite Asia increasing its immigration population by the most, reaching 71 million in 2013, Europe just tips the scales with a total of 72million immigrants on the continent. 
 
France and Germany remain particular hotspots, with large communities from Turkey and northern Africa settling in both countries. 
 
Debt-wracked Spain also saw a high influx of immigrants over the whole period from 1990, with only the US and wealthy oil state United Arab Emirates recording more in the last 23 years.
 
New patterns of immigration
Although it is clear to see from the data that some established immigration patterns are continuing as strong as ever, there are also new trends emerging too. 
 
Analysts have pointed out that for the first time almost even numbers of immigrants are opting to settle in developing countries and developed countries alike. 
 
The report also identified that many countries are adopting a new role; rather than simply being a place to live, they are fulfilling a need for being a place of 'origin, transit and destination simultaneously'.
 
The split between genders is also split almost down the middle with 48% of international migrants being women. The vast majority of individuals leaving their birth country were of working age, with 74% aged between 20 and 64 and actively seeking employment. 

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