International Migration Outlook 2013 (OECD)

The International Migration Outlook 2013 says that migration into OECD countries rose by 2% in 2011 from the previous year, to reach almost 4 million. Recent data suggest a similar increase in 2012.

The summary highlights the following main trends:

  • Immigration flows are rising in OECD countries, but remain well below pre‑crisis levels. Preliminary 2012 data suggest a further increase.
  • India and China continue to be important origin countries for immigration into OECD countries, but Poland and Romania appear this year among the top three (after China) because of increased intra‑EU mobility. Outflows from countries most affected by the crisis, particularly southern European ones, have also accelerated, by 45% from 2009 to 2011.
  • In 2011, the number of persons seeking asylum in OECD countries rose by more than one‑fifth, exceeding 400 000 for the first time since 2003. This trend is confirmed by preliminary 2012 data. The top destination countries are the United States, France and Germany. Largely due to the “Arab Spring”, Italy emerged as the fourth‑largest receiving country in 2011.
  • Many governments have become more restrictive towards foreign recruitment, seeking to protect their workforces in face of rising unemployment. However, countries have also introduced measures to ease the situation for foreign workers who have lost their jobs, mainly by allowing them to stay and search for work. More countries are adopting points‑based systems. Programmes to attract investors and entrepreneurs are also receiving attention.
  • Migrants’ labour market situation has worsened over the past years, both in terms of levels and compared with the native‑born. Long‑term unemployment of migrants is becoming a serious challenge in many OECD countries. In 2012, almost one out of two unemployed migrants had looked for a job for over a year.
  • Immigrant youth and the low‑skilled have been particularly affected by the crisis, but women and high‑skilled migrants less so. The impact was strongest on migrants from Latin America and North Africa.
  • The emphasis on and public funds devoted to integration policies vary substantially across countries, despite a common need to support migrants’ labour market integration in order to avoid possible long‑lasting effects, notably on young migrants and native‑born children of immigrants.

For further information please read the detailed summary and the press release.

Also see the remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, delivered at the launch of the International Migration Outlook 2013.

Publication Date:
Tue 25 Jun 2013
Main theme: