Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A new working paper 'The Globalisation of Migration' by Mathias Czaika and Hein de Haas

Common assumptions that international migration has generally increased in volume, diversity, and geographical scope generally do not hold, according to this latest working paper.

The study by Mathias Czaika and Hein de Haas addresses the question ‘Has the world really become more migratory?’ and will be presented at the ‘Migration: Global Development, New Frontiers’ conference in April 2013.

The findings show that globally the intensity of international migration has not accelerated but main shifts in migration patterns have been directional, as is the case with Europe changing from a continent of emigration to one of immigration. These shifts are linked to major geopolitical and economic transformations, such as the rise of new ‘migration magnets’ and the lifting of emigration restrictions.

The study also found that globally there has been an increase in immigration diversification, but a minimal increase in emigration diversification. That is, migration is occurring from an increasingly diverse array of origin countries but to a shrinking pool of prime destination countries such as those of Europe and the Gulf region. The authors argue that this skewing of the global migration map reflects the highly asymmetric nature of globalisation processes.

The research was based on an analysis of data from the Global Bilateral Migration Database, and proposes a Migration Globalisation Index to capture changes in the spread, distance and intensity of migration processes at the global and country level.

Dr Mathias Czaika, co-author of the study, said: “Has the world become more migratory? The answer both is yes and no.

“We perceive through the media that migration is increasing, but the global migration rate has actually declined since the 1960s. This very crude measure shows that in relative terms it [the global migration rate] is rather stable, but this varies greatly when you look at different countries and world regions.”

Download the working paper

Similar stories

Working Paper: Immigration policy effects – A conceptual framework

Liv Bjerre provides a conceptual framework for the analysis of immigration policy effects by arguing that immigration policies have varying effects on different categories of immigrants whether they are regular immigrants, asylum seekers or irregular immigrants

Return Migration in Africa

IMI Researcher, Dr. Marie-Laurence Flahaux together with Dr. Bruno Shoumaker and Dr. Thierry Eggerickx edit a new issue of 'Space, Populations, Societies' which seeks to explore the understudied aspects of return migration in Africa

Working Paper: Hopes and fears of migrants’ contribution to political change, a Tunisian case study

Marieke van Houte explores complexities of political change in relation to mobility and immobility through a fascinating Tunisian case study that challenges conventional notions that transnational political engagements contribute to democratization

Exploring domestic & diasporic non-government responses to the Liberian Ebola Crisis

New article published in the academic journal, African Affairs by IMI Senior Research Officer Robtel Neajai Pailey

Legal invisibility was the best thing to happen to me

Senior Research Officer Robtel Neajai Pailey shares her experience of living as an undocumented migrant in the US for 14 years in a remarkable piece for Al Jazeera

Call for papers for new journal Migration and Society

The first issue of the journal focuses on Hospitality and hostility towards migrants: Global perspectives