Revised 24 May 2019

Net migration is the net total of migrants over time - the total number of immigrants less the total number of which include both citizens and non-citizens. Net migration statistics in Figure 16 below apply over five-year intervals. 

Figure 16: World Net Migration 1962-2017 (Data: United Nations 2019)

Figure 16 shows that apart from the five-year period ending in 1992 when net migration was positive in low-income countries, millions of peoples from middle-income and low-income countries emigrated to high-income countries with a peak in the five-year period ending in 2007. The reasons for emigration are various including the wish for greater work opportunities and lifestyle of high-income countries, the need to flee from war-stricken zones to countries of safety, and the consequences of climate change which has resulted in climate change refugees.