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    World Bank publishes latest Migration and Remittances Factbook

    By Noreen Bowden | May 13, 2008

    The World Bank has published the “Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008”. It gives a host of statistics on international migration and remittances for 194 countries.

    In 2007, recorded remittance flows worldwide were estimated at $318 million, of which $240 million went to developing countries; including informal remittances would significantly enlarge the volume.

    The Factbook reports that in 2005, Ireland had nearly 600,000 immigrants, who made up 14.1% of the population of 4 million, with the top source countries being the UK, the US, Nigeria, Germany, France, South Africa, Australia, Romania, China and Spain. (More recent figures would presumably reflect the increase in Eastern European immigrants since accession in 2004.)

    It says that there were 928,000 emigrants living outside of Ireland in 2005, amounting to 22.4% of the population. The top destination countries were the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

    Some more interesting facts:

    • The top immigration countries, relative to population are Qatar (78 percent), the United Arab Emirates (71 percent), Kuwait (62 percent), Singapore (43 percent), Israel (40 percent), and Jordan (39 percent). The average share of immigrants in population is under 10 percent in high-income OECD countries.
    • The Mexico–United States corridor is the largest migration corridor in the world, accounting for 10.4 million migrants by 2005. Migration corridors in the Former Soviet Union— Russia–Ukraine and Ukraine–Russia —are the next largest, followed by Bangladesh–India. In these corridors, natives became migrants without moving when new international boundaries were drawn.
    • The volume of South–South migration is almost as large as that of South–North migration, which accounts for 47 percent of the total emigration from developing countries. South–South migration is larger than South–North migration in Sub-Saharan Africa (72 percent), Europe and Central Asia (64 percent), and South Asia (54 percent).
    • Smaller countries tend to have higher rates of skilled emigration. Almost all the physicians trained in Grenada and Dominica have emigrated abroad. St. Lucia, Cape Verde, Fiji, São Tomé and Principe, and Liberia are also among the countries with the highest emigration rates of physicians.
    • In 2007, the top recipient countries of recorded remittances were India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and France. As a share of GDP, however, smaller countries such as Tajikistan (36 percent), Moldova (36 percent), Tonga (32 percent), the Kyrgyz Republic (27 percent), and Honduras (26 percent) were the largest recipients in 2006.
    • Rich countries are the main source of remittances. The United States is by far the largest, with $42 billion in recorded outward flows in 2006. Saudi Arabia ranks as the second largest, followed by Switzerland and Germany.

    See the Factbook.

    Go straight to Ireland’s page.

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