Immigration

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Etymology

Latin immigratus, past participle of immigrare to remove, go in, from in- + migrare to migrate

Definition

  • to enter and usually become established; especially : to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence

Description

Immigration is the introduction of new people into a habitat or population. It is a biological concept and is important in population ecology, differentiated from emigration and migration.

Statistics

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said there are more than 200 million migrants around the world today. Europe hosted the largest number of immigrants, with 70.6 million people in 2005, the latest year for which figures are available. North America, with over 45.1 million immigrants, is second, followed by Asia, which hosts nearly 25.3 million. Most of today's migrant workers come from Asia. The United Nations estimates that there are 214 million migrants across the globe, an increase of about 37% in two decades.

The United Nations found that, in 2005, there were nearly 1 million international migrants worldwide, 3 percent of the world population. This represented a rise of 26 million since 1990. Sixty percent of these immigrants were now in developed countries, an increase on 1990. Those in less developed countries stagnated, mainly because of a fall in refugees. Contrast that to the average rate of globalization (the proportion of cross-border trade in all trade), which exceeds 20 percent. The numbers of people living outside their country of birth is expected to rise in the future.

The Middle West, some parts of Europe, small areas of South West Asia, and a few spots in the East Indies have the highest percentages of immigrant population recorded by the UN Census 2005. The reliability of immigrant censuses is, however, lamentably low due to the concealed character of undocumented labor migration. The International Organization for Migration has estimated the number of foreign migrants to be over 200 million worldwide today.

Recent surveys by Gallup found roughly 700 million adults would like to migrate to another country permanently if they had the chance. The United States is the top desired destination country. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of these respondents, which translates to more than 165 million adults worldwide, name the United States as their desired future residence. With an additional estimated 45 million saying they would like to move to Canada, Northern America is one of the two most desired regions.

The rest of the top desired destination countries (those where an estimated 25 million or more adults would like to go) are predominantly European. Forty-five million adults who would like to move name the United Kingdom or France as their desired destination, while 35 million would like to go to Spain and 25 million would like to relocate to Germany. Thirty million name Saudi Arabia and 25 million name Australia.[1]