630 million want to migrate – Gallup World Poll

A new poll carried out by the global research institute, Gallup in 150 countries reveals that 630 million adults wish to move to another country permanently.

The Gallup report: “The Many Faces of Migration” published in IOM's Migration Research Series, gives a comprehensive picture, for the first time, of the lives and experiences of people who desire to migrate permanently or temporarily for work, those who are planning and preparing to go, and those who have returned home.

The report, which analyses the results of interviews conducted with 750,000 adults worldwide since 2005, has given an unprecedented insight into who the migrants are, where they come from, how they live, where they might go and what this all means for governments, NGOs and stakeholders. For the first time it has given migrants a voice in the dialogue about international migration.  

The findings show that while the desire to migrate permanently reaches 630 million, less than one tenth of them- 48 million- are planning to migrate in the near future.

As many as 26 percent of the world's adults say they would like to migrate to another country for temporary work.

Those who want to migrate are most likely to be underemployed, but to some, employment status does not matter. Transnational social networks also have a major bearing on people's desires, plans and preparations to migrate.  

Leading the table of regions with the most people planning to relocate to other countries permanently is the Middle East and North Africa with 16%, followed by Sub Saharan Africa with 12%.  

The findings show that 18 countries attract more than 70 percent of migrants worldwide. The USA continues to be the top migration destination, followed by Canada, the UK, France and Spain.

Climate change is another factor pushing people to migrate, says the report. It is predicted that in the next five years, as many as 500 million adults may make the choice to move to other countries or to other areas in their countries because of severe environmental problems facing their communities.

Three percent of adults in 135 countries receive remittances from someone in another country. In 35, mostly Sub-Saharan countries, as many as ten percent of adults are in receipt of remittances from a migrant working abroad.

However, the survey found that remittances are often used to pay for basic needs rather than for savings, education or for starting businesses, and that those who receive remittances are more likely to find the idea of migration more appealing.

The report argues that while migration trends will continue to evolve, voices of the migrants and potential migrants are important to assist policymakers create appropriate migration and development strategies.

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