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19 Dec, 2018 11:05

Migration ‘powerful driver’ of economic growth – UN chief

Migration ‘powerful driver’ of economic growth – UN chief

The number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow rapidly in recent years, according to statistics from the United Nations (UN). It has reached 258 million last year, up from 220 million in 2010.

Human migration is “a powerful driver of economic growth, dynamism and understanding,said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday in his message commemorating the International Migrants Day.

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According to Guterres, migration “allows millions to seek new opportunities that benefit communities of origin and destination alike.” He said that “when poorly regulated, migration can intensify divisions within and between societies, expose people to exploitation and abuse, and undermine faith in government.”

Over 60 percent of all international migrants live in Asia (80 million) or Europe (78 million), UN recent research has found. Northern America hosted the third largest number of international migrants (58 million), followed by Africa (25 million), Latin America and the Caribbean (10 million) and Oceania (8 million).

In 2017, of the 258 million international migrants worldwide, 106 million were born in Asia. India was the largest country of origin of international migrants (17 million), followed by Mexico (13 million).

Data from the World Economic Forum (WEF) showed the total number of people migrating globally has increased by nearly two thirds over the past 25 years. Europe is currently the world’s top destination for migrants, WEF said. As of 2015, there were 75 million migrants in Europe, representing one third of the world’s migrant population.

READ MORE: Migration not a 'human right': Austria refuses to join global UN-backed migration pact

Migrants to Europe are primarily those travelling northwest from Asia (which under the International Organization for Migration’s definition includes Turkey and the Middle East), and north from Africa. France hosted the second highest number of refugees and asylum seekers in 2016.

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