Germany named Europe’s top migrant destination

Germany named Europe's top migrant destination
Migrant workers assist in Germany's famous asparagus harvest. Photo: DPA
Germany has been named Europe’s principal country of destination for migrants, according to the World Migration Report (WMR) 2008 released on Tuesday.

As host to 10.1 million migrants in 2005, Germany was well ahead of the other top countries in the study by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on how globalisation is effecting human movement. France came in second with 6.5 million migrants, the United Kingdom had 5.4 million, Spain had 4.8 million, and Italy 2.5 million.

The ten countries reviewed in Europe all showed positive rates of growth in number of migrants from 2000 to 2005, but Spain and Italy recorded a stunning increase of 194.2 percent and 54.1 per cent respectively. Western and Central Europe hosted a total of 44.1 million migrants in 2005, many of whom came from neighbouring countries. That accounted for some 85 percent of the region’s population growth. Migrants make up an average of 15 percent of the population in Western European countries.

The WMR study found that there were more than 200 million international migrants worldwide – 2.5 times more than in 1965. Most countries are simultaneously states of migrant origin, transit and destination, making human mobility “a life choice driven by disparities in demography, income and employment opportunities across and within regions,” the report said.

“The world is on the move, there is no turning away from that,” Gervais Appave, Co-Editor of the WMR 2008 commented. “If we harness that mobility through policies addressing both human and economic needs, many of the migration anomalies of the past can be overcome and we would see real progress when we talk about global development.”

Meanwhile student mobility has increased by some 38.5 percent due to relaxed policies since 2001, with top destinations Britain, Germany and France getting 54 percent of the foreign students.

The IOM is an inter-governmental organisation that focuses on promoting “humane and orderly” migration.