The world’s immigrant population has been increasing at a rapid rate, according to a new U.N. report released Monday. Since the year 2000, an estimated 258 million people have left their native countries to live in other nations, representing an increase of 49 percent.
The biennial report came out on International Migrants Day and revealed that the percentage of the world’s people who are international migrants has gone from 2.8 percent in 2000 to 3.4 percent this year. But the report from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said the percentage living in high-income countries rose from 9.6 percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2017, according to the Associated Press.
Established by the United Nations in September 2016, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants states that no one country can manage international migration on its own. To that end, all 193 UN member states committed to sharing the burden of hosting refugees more equitably as they agreed to protect the human rights of migrants and to counter xenophobia and intolerance.
“Reliable data and evidence are critical to combat misperceptions about migration and to inform migration policies,” said Undersecretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin. He added that the new report “will provide an important baseline for member states as they begin negotiations on the Global Compact.”
The “Global Compact” is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals, according to its website, which states that the UN Global Compact’s General Assembly mandate is to “promote responsible business practices and UN values among the global business community and the UN System.”
In early December, the United States said it was ending its participation in negotiations on the compact, with U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley calling the declaration “not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.”
According to a statement from the U.S. Mission, numerous provisions in the compact were “inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies” under President Donald Trump.
The UN report said that in 2017, high-income countries hosted 64 percent of the international migrants worldwide, or nearly 165 million people.
“This year, two-thirds of migrants were living in just 20 countries,” according to the report, which said the largest number — 49.8 million, or 19 percent of the global total — live in the United States.
Saudi Arabia, Germany and Russia are hosting the second, third and fourth largest numbers, at around 12 million, while the United Kingdom is fifth with nearly 9 million, the report said.
The report further noted that without migrants, population numbers in Europe would have declined from 2000 to 2015.
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