International migrants reach 258m, says UN

Migrants wait in Catania harbour after being rescued by the Italian coast guard on August 26, 2015 while as 50 bodies were found in the hold of a boat heading for Italy (AFP Photo/Dario Azzaro)

African Migrants wait in Catania harbour after being rescued by the Italian coast guard

File photo: rescued African migrants

The UN says the number of international migrants has reached 258 million and the number will continue to grow.

According to a report by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the number of migrants increased by 49 per cent compared to 2000, while nearly 26 million migrants (10 per cent of the total number) are refugees.

DESA said the largest number of migrants, 49.8 million people, or 19 per cent of all international migrants, reside in the U.S.

The number of migrants living in Saudi Arabia, Germany and Russia amounts to nearly 12 million people in each country, while there are approximately nine million migrants in the United Kingdom.

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In 2017, 48.4 per cent of all international migrants were women, with the number of female migrants exceeding the number of male migrants in all regions except Africa and Asia.

Some three-quarters (74 per cent) of all international migrants are of working age, between 20 and 64 years of age, compared to 57 per cent of the global population.

As regards migrants’ origin, India tops the list with 17 million international migrants who have originated in the South Asian country, while Mexico ranks second with 13 million of its nationals residing outside the country’s borders.

Nationals of Russia, China, Bangladesh, Syria, Pakistan and Ukraine also make up a significant part of international migrants, namely between six and 11 million people from each of these countries.