U.N. Data Shows Number Of Global Migrants Has Spiked

Migrants now make up 3.5% of the world's population compared to 2.8% in 2000.
Posted at 2:23 PM, Sep 18, 2019

The number of global migrants has jumped to 272 million people, according to a new report from the U.N. They now make up 3.5% of the world's population, compared to 2.8% in 2000. That means the number of migrants has grown faster than the world's population.

The U.N. gathered the data from censuses worldwide. The term "migrant" refers to anyone who "changes their country of usual residence," whether by choice or because they were forced to. About a quarter of the recent increase involved migrants who were forced to move, like refugees and asylum-seekers.

Most migrants live in just a few countries, with most of them staying in the same region as the country they left.

Europe has the largest percentage of migrants — 30% of the world's migrants live there. But the country with the most migrants is, by far, the U.S., with 50.7 million. Germany and Saudi Arabia are tied for second, with 13.1 million each.