Global Migration Map [ANIMATED]

global migration flows map
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Since the dawn of humankind, people have been shifting from place to place, discovering new territories and colonizing new regions. Even though great civilizations were born after the era of the Nomads, still, people were moving in and out of their place of origin for different reasons. Migration and immigration have been one of the main forces that changed the course of history and in this article, we’ll be looking at the most recent trends and activities related to global migration.

Difference Between Migration, Emigration, And Immigration

Many people find it difficult to understand these three words and often confuse them. In fact, these three words refer to different meanings.

Migrate means “to move” and generally used to describe people shifting from one region to another. Emigrate and immigrate are both “different forms” of migration. Also, migration could be either domestic/local (within the same country) or international (between countries).

Emigrate means leaving some one’s country. For example, you could say “I’m planning to emigrate from my country to the USA.”

Immigrate means coming to another country and settling down there. An example of the usage of the word is “My grandfather immigrated here to the USA 60 years ago from England.”

Interactive Migration Flow Map

The following map will help you understand the global migration patterns, inflows, and outflows of migrants and routes of migrations in the world. You can also find an interactive version of this map on

Global Migration Patterns

As migration is a historic phenomenon, when we take a closer look to analyze it further, we can identify certain patterns in global migration. Usually, these patterns emerge periodically depending on the global political and economic conditions.

Discovery of the New World (Americas) and the Period from the 16th Century to 19th Century.

Following the footsteps of the great Christopher Columbus, after Amerigo Vespucci set foot on the American continent many of the great empires by then, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Portugal quickly saw an opportunity to expand and began to colonize the regions in Americas. The result was an excessive influx of Europeans from Europe to America. Many people migrated, or Emigrated from their own countries and Immigrated to Americas in search of new wealth, business opportunities and a better world for their children and families to live in.

Post World War II Era

After the end of the second world war, the European nations were mostly in ruins and the massive empires, mainly Britain and France gave freedom to most of their subjugated countries. By the end of the 1950s, most of Europe was rebuilt and the economy and the society was thriving under the continued peace after many years. The result was a large number of Asians, mainly Arabs and South Asians migrating to Europe from Asia.

Furthermore, during this period the United States of America was blooming to become the next global superpower, and their economy was accelerating to facilitate the growing nation. Many people from Asia, Africa, and Europe moved to the USA as well in search of the “American Dream” during this period.

New Millennia and the 21st Century

The migration into Europe and the USA continues even today, though several other destinations have begun to attract foreign migrants at a rapid pace.

The Middle East, especially Dubai and the United Arab Emirates have been popular destinations for migrants in the recent past. In Dubai, more than 82% of the population is foreign-born.

Apart from that, the statistics show that nearly 20% of the global migrants immigrate to the USA, which means one in five of every immigrant has gone to the USA making it the most sought-after nation of immigrants.

Apart from that, in Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Kuwait are among the other most countries where people have migrated mostly.

Why Do People Migrate?

Migration of people happen do various reasons such as,

  • Political reasons and the current political situation
  • Economic conditions
  • Wars, Conflicts and Civil unrests
  • Not having access to a proper standard of living and social issues

Do you know?

Even as you read this, possibly there are thousands of people in the middle east and especially in the wore-torn Syria are migrating, moving towards Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, other surrounding Asian countries and Europe for shelter from the war and jihadi terrorists.

How Migration Impacts National Economies?

When a person migrates to another country, temporary for a job or as a permanent resident, if the person migrating poses knowledge, experience or expertise in various areas such as science, technology, communications, literature, arts or any other areas, such a person will surely be a great catalyst for the development of the country, its economy, and society.

Yet there is a downside to this as well. when masses of people migrate during times of war as in Syria and middle east, this may not be beneficial to any country but put burden of its economy, society and even put the national security in grave danger.

Also, when the cultural values, norms and traditions of immigrants are not compatible and fitting with the migrated country’s national culture and values, many social and individual level problems and conflicts of political nature could arise as well, both locally and internationally.

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