2018 The State of Food and AgricultureMigration, Agriculture and Rural Development
What you didn’t know about migration
There are many misconceptions about migration. Test your knowledge throughout the report.
Choose the correct statement
Although international migration is today the subject of great concern and attention, migration has always been a part of the history of humankind and accompanies the evolution of societies. Between 1990 and 2015, the number of international migrants has increased from 153 million to 248 million. However, to put things into perspective, as a share of the world population, this increase is only from 2.9 percent to 3.3 percent. Equally important to know, more people migrate within countries, therefore internally, than internationally.
Global international migration is a significantly smaller phenomenon than internal migration
The numbers for internal migration, in fact, are even greater than those for international migration. FAO estimates that over 1.3 billion people living in developing countries have migrated within their own country. In developing countries there are seven times the number of internal lifetime migrants (having lived in an area other than their birthplace) as there are international lifetime migrants.
How many migrants move from developing countries to developed countries?
Despite many misconceptions, more international migrants (38 percent) have moved between developing countries than from a developing to a developed country (35 percent).
A large share of international migration takes place between south-south regions and countries. Many of these flows take place between countries that are undergoing a process of structural transformation and urbanization in which agriculture and rural areas are significant in terms of their share of the population and contribution to the GDP, but as part of this process, people are also moving towards non-agricultural sectors where productivity and wages are presumably higher.
People migrate for a number of reasons. Under normal conditions, the decision to migrate can be determined by the search of better employment opportunities, higher-earning jobs, and more or better public services, for instance, those related to education or health. However, in some situations, the decision to migrate is made forcefully in the absence of better alternatives or out of necessity.
Migration is not always a choice
Over the last ten years, the world has witnessed a sharp rise in crises due to armed conflicts or extreme climate events, threatening the livelihoods of many people and causing an increase in the number of refugees and internally displaced people. As many as 25 million refugees have left their countries because of conflicts and crises. Worldwide in 2016, there were 66 million forcibly displaced people as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence and human rights violations, of which 40 million were internally displaced persons (IDPs), with the remainder being refugees and asylum seekers.