DESK REVIEWS | 01.01.06. Migration

DESK REVIEW | 01.01.06. Migration

With regards to within country migration, in 2010, around 35% of the population did not live in the city where they were born, and 14.5% (26 million) lived in another state. The number of migrants is bigger in Southern areas, whilst most people in Northern areas are originally from there. São Paulo (19.4%), Rio de Janeiro (13,1%), Paraná (16.3%) and Goiás (26.6%) had the highest proportions of people who were not originally from there. Minas Gerais (18.4%), Bahia (22.1%), São Paulo (5.8%) and Paraná (21.1%) had the largest number of people who emigrated to another state (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 2010b, 2010a).

With regards to international migration, in 2010, Brazil had received around 268,500 migrants from other countries, 86.7% more than in 2000 (143,600). Of the total of international migrants, 174.6 thousand (65.0%) were Brazilians returning to Brazil. Most of the migrants were coming from the United States (51.9 thousand) and Japan (41.4 thousand). (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 2010b, 2010a).

Until 1980, outmigration in Brazil used to be rare, with more people emigrating to Paraguay. In the recent years, outmigration from Brazil has become more common, frequently occurring to the United States (around 750,000 people), Paraguay (350,000), and Japan (250,000). Other countries receiving Brazilians are Portugal (circa of 65,000 people), Italy (65,000), Swiss (45,000), and the UK (30,000). Around other 500,000 Brazilians are living abroad in Europe and other continents (Committee on foreign affairs and national defense, 2004).


Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. (2010a). Proporcao de migrantes entre grandes regioes, UFs e municipios.

Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. (2010b). Vamos conhecer o Brasil. Nosso povo: Migracao e deslocamento.

Committee on foreign affairs and national defense. (2004). Brasileiros no Exterior. Portal da Câmara dos Deputados.


Internal migration

As per Census 2011, there were 450 million internal migrants in India, which comprise of 37% of the total population (Rajan and Bhagat, 2021). The main directions of migration reported by an earlier NSS report (2007-2008) were rural to rural (62%), urban to urban (13%) and urban to rural (5%) (Rajan and Bhagat, 2021). The states that receive the most migration are Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Kerala, and Karnataka as per the Census 2011 (Rajan and Bhagat, 2021).

External migration

According to the World Migration Report (International Organization for Migration, 2019), Indians account for the largest proportion of individuals living outside of their country, with 17.5 million international migrants originating from India. The largest corridor of migration from India was reported to be to the United Arab Emirates in 2019 (International Organization for Migration, 2019).


International Organization for Migration. (2019). World Migration Report. Geneva: International Organization for Migration.

Rajan, I.S., Bhagat, B.R (2021). Internal migration in India: Integrating migration with development and urbanization policies. Thematic Working Group on Internal Migration and Urbanization of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) Available from:

Migration from Indonesia to other countries has a long history, with records stemming from Dutch and Japanese colonial times (Raharto, 2007). In the colonial era, beginning 1890, the Dutch government started to source workers from the Dutch East Indies for labour in the plantations of Suriname in South America. After Independence, a Ministry of Labour (later changed to Ministry of Manpower) was established to manage the placements of Indonesian migrant workers abroad (BNP2TKI, 2011). Between 2016 to 2018, there were more than 760,000 Indonesian migrant workers assigned to different countries for various types of jobs, including nurses and care workers (Pusat Penelitian Pengembangan dan Informasi BNP2TKI, 2019).

According to the CIA World Factbook the net migration rate in 2017 was -1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population. This suggests that more Indonesians are emigrating than foreigners are immigrating, but within country migration also plays an important role (CIA World Factbook, 2019). In 2013, the five main emigration destinations for Indonesians were Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, and Singapore. The UNICEF migration profile for Indonesia suggests that crude net migration has risen slightly from -0.20 in the period 1995 to 2000 to -0.56 in 2010-2015. Future projections suggest that crude migration will stay relatively constant between 2015-2020 (-0.53) and 2045-2050 (-0.44) (United Nations DESA-Population Division and UNICEF, 2014). Among immigrants, the majority were reported to come from China, the Republic of Korea, the UK, Timor-Leste, and Singapore.

In-country migration also plays a considerable role in Indonesia. These often-long-established patterns of migration play a role in the varied ageing patterns observed across Indonesia (Adioetomo & Mujahid, 2014 p.30; Ananta et al., 1997). As in the case of international migration patterns, within-country migration patterns were also influenced by colonial rule, which established transmigration programmes from Java to the outer islands. This policy was maintained after Indonesian independence to move landless people from highly populated areas to less populated areas. This pattern came to a halt following the fall of the New Order (Sukamdi & Mujahid, 2015, p.5).

While some ethnic groups are known for their migration patterns, overall internal migration has been found to slow down between 1995/2000 and 2005/2010 according to Census data. At the same time, those who migrated internally were found to move further away (Sukamdi & Mujahid, 2015, pp. 12-13).

The largest proportion of migrants were aged 15 to 34 years. Among older persons, the number of people migrating were generally low but more women (52.1%) than men were found to migrate at older age. Sukamdi and Muhajid (2015) suggest that women are more likely to follow their adult children when widowed or divorced while men are more likely to re-marry. The greater number of widowed women migrating may also be related to female longevity (Sukamdi & Mujahid, 2015).


Adioetomo, S. M., & Mujahid, G. (2014). Indonesia on The Threshold of Population Ageing – UNFPA Indonesia Monograph Series: No.1. (H. Posselt, Ed.; Issue 1). UNFPA Indonesia.

Ananta, A., Anwar, E. N., & Suzenti, D. (1997). Some Economic Demographic Aspects of “Ageing” in Indonesia. In Indonesia Assessment: Population and Human Resources (pp. 181–203). Australian National University and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

BNP2TKI. (2011). Sejarah Penempatan TKI Hingga BNP2TKI.

CIA World Factbook. (2019). Indonesia.

Pusat Penelitian Pengembangan dan Informasi BNP2TKI. (2019). Data Penempatan dan Perlindungan TKI Periode Bulan Desember Tahun 2018.

Raharto, A. (2017). Pengambilan Keputusan Tenaga Kerja Indonesia Perempuan untuk Bekerja di Luar Negeri: Kasus Kabupaten Cilacap (Decision making to work overseas among Indonesian women labor migrants: the case of Cilacap district). Jurnal Kependudukan Indonesia, 12(1), 39–54.

Sukamdi, & Mujahid, G. (2015). Internal Migration in Indonesia. UNFPA Indonesia Monograph Series No.3, xii, 90.

United Nations DESA-Population Division and UNICEF. (2014). Migration Profile – Common Set of Indicators. DESA-Population Division and UNICEF.

Kenya is the second biggest refugee-hosting country in Africa with 259,100 (54.5% of registered refugees) originating from Somalia (UNHCR, 2019) and others from the East and the Horn of Africa due to continued conflict and displacement. The key drivers for Kenyan emigrants appear to be access to employment, education and other opportunities with top destinations being the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and other African countries, particularly the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda (International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2015).


International Organization for Migration (IOM). (2015). Migration in Kenya: A country profile 2015. Nairobi, Kenya.

UNHCR. (2019). Kenya: Registered refugees and asylum-seekers.


Mexico has a long history of migration patterns including internal and international migration. Internal migration, defined as the displacement of the population within the same territory (within a municipality or federative entity) (INEGI, 2010b), continues to be an important demographic factor in Mexico. According to the 2015 Intercensal Survey (INEGI, 2015b), it is estimated that 17.4% of the residents of Mexico were born in a different entity (state, municipality, or locality) from the one they reside in or were born abroad. There are important differences among states, for example, this percentage in the state of Quintana Roo reaches 54.1% of total population in the state, followed by Baja California with 44.1%. On the other hand, the state of Chiapas presents the lowest percentage of residents reporting being born elsewhere at 3.4% of total population, followed by Guerrero with 4.9%.

Regarding international migration history, starting in the 1940s with the Bracero Program and most importantly from the 1970s onward was largely one of flows to the United States, and today, Mexico is one of the countries with the largest accumulated outwards migration in the world. More recently, Mexico has become an important transit migration country, mainly by Central Americans headed to the U.S. some of which, while they wait on their application/obtaining refugee status in the US, choose to settle temporarily or permanently within the country (INEGI, 2010b).

In 2015, just over one million people living in Mexico reported being born in another country, which is equivalent to 0.84% of the total population of the country. Showing an increasing trend in foreign immigration, this percentage has doubled in the last fifteen years (INEGI, 2015b). According to the International Migration Outlook 2017 (OECD, 2017b) immigration to Mexico increased sharply over the past two decades, while the inter-census survey (INEGI, 2015b) indicates that the number of foreign-born population has reached the level of one million, double the number than in 2000. In 2015, 34,500 foreigners were issued a new permanent resident permit, and it is estimated that 377,000 Central Americans migrants transited through Mexico in route to the USA (OECD, 2017b).


INEGI. (2010b). Principales resultados del Censo de Población y Vivienda 2010. In Principales resultados del Censo de Población y Vivienda 2010. (Vol. 1).

INEGI. (2015b). Encuesta Intercensal 2015 Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, 1, 85–90.

OECD. (2017b). “Mexico” in International Migration Outlook 2017.