More than 40% of all international migrants worldwide in 2019 (112 million) were born in Asia, primarily originating from India (the largest country of origin), China, and South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mexico was the second largest country of origin, and the Russian Federation was fourth. Several other European countries have sizable populations of emigrants, including Ukraine, Poland, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Top 20 countries of origins of international migrants in 2019 (millions)
While international migrants may tend to gravitate toward high-income countries, their origins globally can be diverse. Some origin countries have high proportions of their nationals living abroad for economic, political, security, trade or cultural reasons that may be contemporary or historical in nature. For example, the Syrian Arab Republic has a higher rate of emigration than most other countries due to displacement caused by long-term conflict. Graph below highlights countries with high proportions of emigrants in 2019. Importantly, the emigration proportion of a country represents an accumulation of migration (and displacement) over time, sometimes many decades. Of note is the geographic diversity of the countries in graph countries from all regions except Northern America are included) as well as the high number of countries from Latin America and the Caribbean (10 of the 20 countries).
Top 20 countries of emigration in 2019 (proportion)
SOURCES: UN DESA, IOM