World Population Prospects 2022
Over the next few decades, migration will be the sole driver of population growth in high-income countries
Compared to low-income and lower-middle-income countries, international migration to high-income countries has become a major driver of population growth since 2000. This trend is expected to continue as the number of deaths will progressively exceed the number of births, according to projections in the new World Population Prospects 2022 from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).
UN DESA found that from 1980 to 2000, population growth in high-income countries was mainly the result of the balance of more births than deaths (104 million). This was twice the contribution of net international migration to population growth (44 million). But between 2000 and 2020, the contribution of international migration to population growth in high-income countries exceeded the balance of births over deaths (net migrant inflow of 80.5 million vs 66.2 million births over deaths).
International migration remains the component of population change that is the most difficult to project given sparse and/or incomplete data on past trends and the potential for migration flows to change rapidly and significantly within a short timeframe in response to economic, social, political and environmental factors.