We live in a world on the move. Across the globe, there are persons who choose to leave their home countries in search of a brighter future with greater opportunities for themselves and their families. In some countries, people have been leaving their home also to escape dangerous conditions, whether naturally occurring or manmade.

In 2017, the world counted 258 million international migrants, representing 3.4 per cent of the global population. But what is the latest tally and what does it say about people on the move today? Stay tuned for the latest migration data to be launched by UN DESA on 17 September 2019.

Beyond the numbers, it is widely recognized that migration has major impacts on both the people and the places involved. When supported by appropriate policies, migration can contribute to inclusive and sustainable development in both origin and destination countries, while also benefitting migrants and their families. The crucial linkages between migration and development, highlighting the opportunities and challenges that migration brings, have been acknowledged both in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Accurate, consistent and timely data on international migration are essential for Member States to monitor progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Global Compact for Migration. The Global Compact for Migration emphasizes the importance of data by including “Collection and utilization of accurate and disaggregated [migration] data as a basis for evidence-based policies” as the first of its 23 objectives.

Reliable data on migrants and migration are crucial for assessing current and future trends, identifying policy priorities, and making informed decisions. Reliable data on international migration can also help ensure that discussions on migration, at both national and international levels, are based on facts, not myths or misperceptions.

Every two years, the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs issues new global estimates of the number of international migrants for all countries and areas of the world, disaggregated by age, sex, country of origin and country of destination. The latest estimates of the number of international migrants are included in the International Migrant Stock 2019.

The 2019 release of the international migrant stock dataset will be accompanied by several related publications based on the new estimates. These include: (i) a policy brief providing key facts about global and regional levels and trends in international migration; (ii) a wall chart providing country-level data and regional aggregates; and (iii) country profiles providing a snapshot of migration levels and trends for each country or area.

Additional information about the international migrant stock datasets and related publications is available on the website of UN DESA’s Population Division.