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20 interesting facts about migration

by 1st Contact | Jun 07, 2012
  • Us humans having been seeking greener pastures for about as long as we’ve been on the planet. Here are 20 facts about migration and the consequent remittance around the world.


    1. Early human migrations are thought to have begun when Homo Erectus first migrated out of Africa to Eurasia around 1.8 million years ago.
    2. One of the greatest waves of immigrants to the USA was during the 1820s – 1890s, when more than 5 million immigrants arrived in America from Ireland and Germany.
    3. Immigration to Australia is estimated to have begun around 50 000 years ago when the ancestors of Australian Aborigines arrived from the islands of the Malay Archipelago and New Guinea.
    4. According to the Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011, 3% of the world population (more than 215 million people) live in a country other than the one they were born in.
    5. The largest migration corridor in the world is Mexico – USA, with almost 12 million official, recorded migrations from Mexico to the US in 2010 alone.
    6. It’s no coincidence then, that the USA also records the highest outward flow of remittance (foreign workers sending money back to their home countries). In 2009 alone, an estimated $48 billion was sent out of the country.
    7. In 2010, the country that received the most money via remittance was India, followed by China, Mexico and France.
    8. How much money is moving around the world? In 2010, recorded global remittances amounted to more than $440 billion!
    9. Most people mistakenly believe that the best way to send money home is through a bank. The truth is that using an agency (like 1st Contact Forex) is nearly always much cheaper, quicker, and more convenient.
    10. The second largest migration corridor in 2010 was between the Ukraine and Russia, followed by Bangladesh and India. In both these instances though, a large number of natives inadvertently became “migrants” when their borders and boundaries were changed.
    11. Between June 2010 and June 2011, 543 000 people came into the UK, while an estimated 343 000 left.
    12. In 2005, a UKBA study estimated a population of between 310,000 and 570,000 illegal immigrants living in the UK.
    13. Indians make up the largest percentage of immigrants coming into the UK (11.9%), followed by migrants from Pakistan, Poland, Australia and China.
    14. Most people emigrating from the UK go to Australia, followed by the USA.
    15. In 2009, Zimbabweans made the most asylum applications; in 2010 and 2011 the most asylum applications were made by Iranians.
    16. In 2010, refugees and asylum-seekers made up 8% (16.3 million) of international migrants.
    17. Relative to world population size, more people were migrating around the end of the 19th Century than they are now.
    18. In 2006 the USA took in more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all the other countries in the world combined.
    19. The name “green card” comes from a post-WWII form, the I-151, which was printed on green paper. The first card was issued in the ’50s, and it had green stripes on one side.
    20. Ironically, if a Mexican wants a visa to immigrate to the United States, he or she must obtain it in Ciudad Juarez, undoubtedly one of the most violent, dangerous cities in the world.

    For good, comprehensive UK visa and immigration advice and information, visit our site at or call 0808 141 2290.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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