The figures in this interactive feature refer to the total number (or cumulative “stocks”) of migrants living around the world as of 1990, 2000, 2010 or 2013 rather than to the annual rate of migration (or current “flows”) in a given year. Since migrants have both an origin and a destination, international migrants can be viewed from two directions – as an emigrant (leaving an origin country) or as an immigrant (entering a destination country).
According to the United Nations Population Division, an international migrant is someone who has been living for one year or longer in a country other than the one in which he or she was born. This means that many foreign workers and international students are counted as migrants. Additionally, the U.N. considers refugees and, in some cases, their descendants (such as Palestinians born in refugee camps) to be international migrants. For the purposes of this interactive feature, estimates of the number of unauthorized or illegal immigrants living in various countries also are included in the total counts. On the other hand, tourists, foreign-aid workers, temporary workers employed abroad for less than a year and overseas military personnel typically are not counted as migrants.
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Large numbers are rounded to the nearest 10,000. Estimates between 1,000 and 9,999 are shown as < 10,000. Estimates between 0 and 999 are shown as < 1,000.
Note: This interactive is based on international migrant data published by the United Nations, which uses a taxonomy of nations and territories and classifies migrants born in territories as international migrants. For example, UN data counts people born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, as international migrants even though they are U.S. citizens by birth. For this reason, some UN estimates of the foreign-born population shown here may differ from other estimates published by the U.S. Census Bureau or the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project.
About Pew Research Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.