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Top migrant nations revealed as COVID stalls travel

26 October 20200 comments

China and India are the largest source of migrants for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, according to new data from the OECD.

While China continued to retain its top slot as the largest source country, India replaced Romania to emerge as the second largest source

During 2018, about 430,000 Chinese migrated to OECD countries, accounting for nearly 6.5 per cent of the total migration inflows.

India has emerged as the second largest source country both in terms of the total inflow of new migrants to OECD countries during 2018 and also the number of Indians acquiring citizenship of these countries.

However, there was a slight decline in Chinese emigrants – about 1 per cent – on the previous year.

But migration from India to OECD countries increased sharply by 10 per cent and reached 330,000. Migration from India represents about 5 per cent of the overall migration to OECD countries. While Canada saw a huge spike in numbers, others such as Germany and Italy also saw more arrivals as compared to the previous year.           

Collation of country-wise data shows that the total inflow of new migrants to OECD countries was 6.6 million a slight rise of 3.8 per cent over the previous year.

The OECD says data on migration flows by nationality may include temporary migration for some destination countries.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an association of 37 member countries, such as European countries, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

As these are well-developed economies, they attract a large share of immigrants, for work, study and asylum.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent migration flows to OECD countries, except for Colombia and Turkey that have hosted a large number of humanitarian migrants in recent years, was 5.3 million in 2019, with similar figures for 2017 and 2018.

 Permanent migration flows do not include temporary labour migration or international students.

Releasing the ‘International Migration Outlook 2020’ at a virtual press conference recently OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría, said COVID-19 have redrawn the international migration map.

Following the onset of the pandemic, almost all OECD countries restricted admission to foreigners.

The issuing of new visas in these countries plummeted by 46 per cent in first half of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

This is the largest drop ever recorded. In the second quarter, the decline was 72 per cent.

Mr Gurria said migration would continue to play a key role for economic growth and innovation, and in responding to rapidly changing labour markets.