Urbanization and migration

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Migration, whether internal or international, has always been one of the forces driving the growth of urbanization and bringing opportunities and challenges to cities, migrants and governments. Increasingly, municipal authorities are becoming recognized as key actors in managing migration and have started including migration in their urban planning and implementation. 

For cities to better manage migration, data on migration and urbanization are essential. However, these data are not always available or – if available – not used or accessible at the urban level, nor disaggregated, comprehensive or comparable, particularly in low-income countries. 

Data could improve urban planning and delivery of public services, as well as help measure progress toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to cities and migration, implement the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees, which emphasize the role of cities as stakeholders in migration, and fulfill migration-related commitments in the UN Habitat’s New Urban Agenda.