A New Profile of Migrants in the Aftermath of the Recent Economic Crisis
Arslan, C. et al. (2014), “A New Profile of Migrants in the Aftermath of the Recent Economic Crisis”, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 160, OECD Publishing.
Posted: 4 Apr 2015
Date Written: 2014
Growing international migration and diverse characteristics of migrant populations make internationally comparable high-quality data on migrants essential. Regular update of these data is crucial to capture the changes in size and composition of migrant populations. This document presents the first results of the update of the Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) for 2010/11. It describes immigrant and emigrant populations by socio-demographic characteristics and labour market outcomes in the OECD, and shows their evolution in the past decade. It also provides updated emigration rates and brain drain figures. Since 2000/01, the number of migrants in OECD countries has increased substantially. As of 2010/11, the number of migrants aged 15 and older is 106 million and this represents a 38% growth from its 2000/01 level. The growth in the number of migrants over the past decade was greatest for African and Asian migrants (about 50%). Migrants in the OECD come mainly from Mexico, India, Romania, China and Poland. They account for a quarter of total recent migration and were the main drivers of the growth of international migration to the OECD countries in the last decade. Education levels of migrants in the OECD have remarkably improved. In 2010/11 there were about 35 million migrants with tertiary education, a third of which came from Asia. This level represents an unprecedented increase of 70% over the past ten years. This growth is mainly driven by migrants originating from Asia (79%), Africa (80%) and Latin America (84%). The number of tertiary educated migrant women increased by 79% between 2000/01 and 2010/11, much higher than the increase in the number of tertiary educated migrant men. The positive trend in the labour market outcomes of migrants in the first half of the 2000s was interrupted by the economic crisis, due mainly to the deterioration of labour market and other economic conditions in main destination countries. Unemployment rates of emigrants increased between 2005/06 and 2010/11, but the increase has been particularly strong for some origin countries in Latin America and Africa and a few countries in Europe and Asia. Countries with the highest emigration rates are typically small and island states. Latin America had the highest total emigration rate in 2010/11. Between 2000/01 and 2010/11, total emigration rates increased for all regions. Emigration rates of the highly educated are higher than total emigration rates in majority of the countries, highlighting the selective nature of migration in terms of educational attainment. Brain drain is higher in low-income and lower-middle income countries than others, which is not the case for total emigration rates. The rising educational attainment of the world’s population has partially offset the negative effects of high-skilled emigration in origin countries. Although the number of tertiary educated emigrants in the OECD rose dramatically between 2000/01 and 2010/11, the emigration rate of the highly educated did not necessarily increase in all countries over the same period.
Keywords: international migration, DIOC, high-skilled migrants, migrant stocks, emigration rates, global crisis, education.
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