Migration data in South-eastern Asia

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South-eastern Asia has, since historic times, been defined by large-scale population movements. Stretching over 11 countries – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam – and with an estimated population of 669 million people at mid-year 2020 (UN DESA, 2020), it is an important sub-region of origin of labour migrants.

While Northern America, Europe and Western Asia are important regions of destination, the majority of the 23.6 million migrants from South-eastern Asia remain on the continent and roughly a third of them stay in the same sub-region (ibid.). The rising demand for domestic and care work in Asia and beyond has led to more female migrants than male migrants from some countries in the sub-region: 61 per cent of migrants from Thailand are female and the share is well above 55 per cent in Malaysia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic (ibid.).