Migrants are an asset to every country where they bring their labour. Let us give them the dignity they deserve as human beings and the respect they deserve as workers.”Juan Somavia, former Director-General of the ILA

On December 18th we commemorate migrants all over the world and those who have lost their lives in such tragic circumstances. The day recognises the need to respect human rights and to promote international labour standards. It is also an opportunity to recognise the contributions made by millions of migrants to the economies of their host and home countries.

Each of them has a name, a story and left their homelands seeking better opportunities and safety for themselves and in many cases for their families – aspirations that all of us strive for.

With this in mind we have put together a list of 6 Interesting Facts related to Migration, which you might not have known.


1. The number of international migrants — persons living in a country other than where they were born — reached 244 million in 2015 for the world as a whole, a 41 per cent increase compared to 2000. This figure includes almost 20 million refugees. (Source)

2. 84% of the United Arab Emirates’ population is foreign born. This is the highest share of immigrants compared to all countries in the world. (Source)


3. Immigrants play a significant role in the U.S. economy. Studies have found that immigrants are more likely than native-born Americans to start and own businesses, and U.S. immigrants or their children have started 40% of Fortune 500 businesses. (Source)


4. The French like to live all over the world – emigrants from France live in more countries than emigrants from any other nation. There are at least 1,000 French-born people living in each of 83 different countries and territories. (Source)


5. During the first eight months of 2016, some 281,740 people have made the sea crossing to Europe, with UNHCR estimating that some 4,176 people have died or gone missing on the Mediterranean since this time last year – an average of 11 men, women and children perishing every day over the last 12 months. (Source)

6. India has the largest diaspora in the world, followed by Mexico and Russia. In 2015, 16 million people from India were living outside of their country. (Source)