Migration data relevant for the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated on 26 November 2021

Migrants – particularly in lower paid jobs and in irregular situations – may be both more affected by and vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19, but migrants also play an important role in the response to COVID-19 by working in critical sectors. As of 10 October 2021, emigrants from the 20 countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases accounted for 33 per cent of the total international migrant stock and they had sent an estimated 41 per cent of all remittances globally to their countries of origin in 2020 (GMDAC analysis based on UN DESA, 2020World Bank 2021aWHO, 2021). Immigrants accounted for at least 3.7 per cent of the population in 13 of the 20 countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, and this share is more than 8 per cent in 9 of these countries (GMDAC analysis based on UN DESA, 2020WHO, 2021). Compared to the global share of international migrants making up 3.6 per cent of the total population, international migrants are overrepresented in these countries.

This page discusses data on migrants that can inform how they are potentially both affected by the impact of COVID-19 and are part of the response to the pandemic. As information related to the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly evolving, figures and other data will be updated on a regular basis. For information by country, please see here and below the map for key indicators on migration and demography. For key trends by region on the impact of COVID-19, please see our regional data overviews.

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