Most international migration takes place within the continent. Around 53 per cent of emigrants reside within Africa and 47 per cent emigrate to extra-continental destinations.

International migration in Africa expressed as a share of total population has been declining since 1990. It declined to levels below 2 per cent in 2017, which is lower than the global average of 3.4 per cent. In 2000–2017, the number of international migrants in Africa increased from 15 million to 25 million, or by 67 per cent, at an average of 2.8 per cent per year. As a result, the percentage of all international migrants residing in Africa increased from 9 per cent in 2000 to 10 per cent of the global total in 2017.

In relation to the population of Africa, the incidence of emigration, or the stock of its emigrants in the continent’s total population, is among the lowest in the world, owing to Africa’s high population growth rate. Africa also has the lowest median age of migrants in the world, at 31 years, and a faster rate of growth in its migrant stock than the global average, only Asia has a faster rate of growth.

In 2000 and 2017, the number of women migrants in Africa increased, yet as a share of total international migrants in Africa, remained stable at 47 per cent (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2017a). More women appear to be moving due, in part, to population ageing and greater job opportunities in the North and in Eastern Asia and the Middle East in the health sector and the care and domestic service sector. There is also rising demand for care and domestic services in Africa, which is increasingly influencing patterns of women’s migration both within and outside the continent.


Source : UNCTAD

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