Migration is a key feature of our increasingly interconnected world.

Refugees might be the face of migration in the media, but 90 percent of the world’s 247 million migrants have moved across borders voluntarily, usually for economic reasons.

Almost two-thirds of the world’s migrants reside in developed countries, where they often fill key occupational shortages.

Voluntary migration flows are typically gradual, placing less stress on logistics and on the social fabric of destination countries than refugee flows.

From 2000 to 2014, immigrants contributed 40 to 80 percent of labor-force growth in major destination countries.

But the recent surge of arrivals in Europe has focused the developed world’s attention on this issue.

Most voluntary migrants are working-age adults, a characteristic that helps raise the share of the population that is economically active in destination countries.

Roughly half of the world’s 24 million refugees are in the Middle East and North Africa, reflecting the dominant pattern of flight to a neighboring country.

While some migrants travel long distances from their origin countries, most migration still involves people moving to neighboring countries or to countries in the same part of the world.

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Moving more labor to higher-productivity settings boosts global GDP. Migrants of all skill levels contribute to this effect, whether through innovation and entrepreneurship or through freeing up natives for higher-value work. In fact, migrants make up just 3.4 percent of the world’s population, but MGI’s research finds that they contribute nearly 10 percent of global GDP. They contributed roughly $6.7 trillion to global GDP in 2015—some $3 trillion more than they would have produced in their origin countries. Developed nations realize more than 90 percent of this effect.

 


sources: McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), People on the move: Global migration’s impact and opportunity. By Jonathan Woetzel, Anu Madgavkar, Khaled Rifai, Frank Mattern, Jacques Bughin, James Manyika, Tarek Elmasry, Amadeo Di Lodovico, and Ashwin Hasyagar- http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/global-migrations-impact-and-opportunity accessed1/01/17. Picture: Julien Harneis - http://www.flickr.com/photos/julien_harneis/2467999253/

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