World migrants rise above 230 million mark: UN

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The number of migrants around the world rose above 230 million in 2013 with the United States, Western Europe and the Gulf oil states the biggest draws, the UN said Wednesday.

The number who have left their own country has risen from 154 million in 1990 to 232 million and the proportion of migrants in rich countries is growing, said a new UN report.

More than half of migrants are living in 10 countries, with the United States the leading host nation with an estimated 46 million in 2013. The UN said there are 13 million people from Mexico in the United States and about 2.2 million who were born in China, 2.1 million from India and two million from the Philippines.

Russia has 11 million migrants, Germany 10 million, Saudi Arabia has nine million and the United Arab Emirates and Britain eight million each. France, Canada, Australia and Spain follow just behind, each with more than six million immigrants.

Migrants made up 10.8 per cent of the population in rich countries and just 1.6 per cent in poorer nations.

But the UN Department of Economic and Social affairs added that since 1990 "international migrants as a share of total grew in (rich nations) but remained unchanged in (poorer countries)." In stark contrast, the report added that almost 90 per cent of the world's estimated 15.7 million refugees are in poorer nations.

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