Asia – home to around 4.6 billion people – was the origin of over 40 per cent of the world’s international migrants in 2020 (around 115 million). In the same year, more than half (69 million) were residing in other countries in Asia, a significant increase from 2015, when around 61 million were estimated to be living within the continent. Intraregional migration in Asia has increased significantly over time, rising from 35 million in 1990. Considerable growth has also occurred in Asian-born migrant populations in Northern America and Europe over the last two decades. In 2020, migration from Asia to Northern America reached 17.5 million, rising slightly from 17.3 million in 2015, whereas in Europe, migration from Asia stood at 23 million in 2020, increasing from almost 20 million in 2015. Migration from Asia to Northern America and Europe drove much of the increase in the number of Asian migrants outside the region, reaching a total of more than 46 million extraregional migrants in 2020.


In 2020, almost 8.3 million international migrants from outside Oceania were living in the region. The foreign-born migrant population was primarily composed of people from Asia and Europe. During the last 30 years, the number of migrants in Oceania born in Asia has grown, while the number of those from Europe has remained steady. Out of all of the six global regions, Oceania had the lowest number of migrants outside its region in 2020, partly a reflection of its smaller population size compared with other regions. Migrants from Oceania living outside the region mainly resided in Europe and Northern America.


Regional Office

IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
18th Floor, Rajanakarn Building
3 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120

Tel: +66 2 343 9400