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13.06.2019 – OECD - Global trends in migration towards OECD countries between 2000/01 and 2015/16

The OECD, with the support of the French Development Agency (AFD), has in recent years developed a database on immigrants in OECD countries (DIOC) which compiles statistics on migrant stocks based on country of birth. This Migration Data Brief presents the findings drawn from the most recent update of these data for 2015/16, which reveal some unprecedented developments and cast a new light on some of the structural trends revealed in previous datasets.

Key Findings

  • In 2015/16, the number of migrants aged 15 and older in OECD countries stood at 120 million, compared to 78 million in 2000/01
  • 54% of worldwide migrants reside in the OECD and this share been increasing in the past 15 years
  • Migrants share in OECD population (15+) reached 12% in 2015/16 (+3 percentage points compared to 2000/01)
  • Mexico remains the top origin country for migrant communities in the OECD area, with slightly less than 12 million people, but India and China have became the second and third main origin countries of immigrants in the OECD area with almost 5 million persons each
  • Migration from Eastern Europe also increased significantly. The number of Polish migrants to the OECD increased by 79% in the past 15 years and that of Romanian migrants more than tripled
  • In 2015/16, the United States was still the main destination country, receiving 39% of all migrants residing in OECD countries. Germany is second with 10% of the total, while the United Kingdom, Canada and France received 6% to 7% of all migrants residing in OECD countries
  • Between 2000/01 and 2015/16, the share of migrants with a high level of education rose from 27% to 35% for those born outside of the OECD area, and from 21% to 30% for those born in an OECD country
  • In 2015/16, there were more tertiary-educated immigrants in OECD countries than low-educated immigrants
  • The rate of emigration of tertiary graduates is always higher than the rate for the lower levels of education. Islands and landlocked countries have the highest emigration rates for tertiary graduates
  • Some countries in Central America, the Caribbean and Africa have emigration rates for the high-educated of over 40%, and this rate is over 20% in about 30 countries
  • There is a clear difference between the emigration rates of tertiary graduates by gender. In non-OECD countries of birth, the emigration rate is close to 20% for tertiary educated women and 16% for tertiary educated men

The new immigrants Global trends in migration towards OECD countries between 2000 and 2015 (917.56 ko)

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