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Where on earth is everybody ? the evolution of global bilateral migration 1960-2000

  • Ozden, Caglar
  • Parsons, Christopher R.
  • Schiff, Maurice
  • Walmsley, Terrie L.

Global matrices of bilateral migrant stocks spanning 1960–2000 are presented, disaggregated by gender and based primarily on the foreign-born definition of migrants. More than one thousand census and population register records are combined to construct decennial matrices corresponding to the five census rounds between 1960 and 2000. For the first time, a comprehensive picture of bilateral global migration over the second half of the 20th century emerges. The data reveal that the global migrant stock increased from 92 million in 1960 to 165 million in 2000. Quantitatively, migration between developing countries dominates, constituting half of all international migration in 2000. When the partition of India and the dissolution of the Soviet Union are accounted for, migration between developing countries is remarkably stable over the period. Migration from developing to developed countries is the fastest growing component of international migration in both absolute and relative terms. The United States has remained the most important migrant destination in the world, home to one fifth of the world’s migrants and the top destination for migrants from some 60 sending countries. Migration to Western Europe has come largely from elsewhere in Europe. The oil-rich Persian Gulf countries emerge as important destinations for migrants from the Middle East and North Africa and South and Southeast Asia. Finally, although the global migrant stock is predominantly male, the proportion of female migrants increased noticeably between 1960 and 2000. The number of women rose in every region except South Asia.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5709.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5709
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  1. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2007. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of the Determinants of Bilateral Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 6289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Measuring international skilled migration: a new database controlling for age of entry," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10411, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Dan-Olof Rooth, 2007. "Implicit Discrimination in Hiring – Real World Evidence," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0705, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321.
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