Now having qualified how migration statistics are derived, we can now be more critical in digesting the numbers that follow below.
As of 2005, the stock of migrants worldwide stood at 190 million. Since that estimate was based on the latest available country censuses which was at year 2005, migration organizations that needed to estimate yearly migration volumes resorted to extrapolation and interpolation method. Thus International Organization for Migration (IOM), at the end of 2008, placed the number of international migrants at approximately 200 million, making up roughly 3% of the world’s population.
The most compelling trends of migration in the 21st century, culled by IOM from various data sources , include, among others:
• In 2005, one of every two migrants (49.6%) is female, or 94.5million women migrants. The situation has not changed dramatically since the 1960s when 46.8% of world migrants were female.
• In 2008, monies sent by migrants to their dependents back in their home countries – called remittances – was estimated at US$375 billion (an increase of 6% from the previous year). Eight of every ten remittance dollars (US$305 billion, or 81.3% of US$375 billion) went to developing countries, even surpassing the amount of official development aid.
• Roughly 1 of every 10 migrants worldwide (20 to 30 million or 10 to 15 per cent of the world migrants stock) is an irregular migrant.