World Migration Report 2018

We are proud to share with you the IOM World Migration Report 2018.
"In this era of heightened interest and growing activity affecting migration and migrants, we hope this 2018 edition of the World Migration Report, IOM’s flagship publication, is a close companion and a useful reference. We hope it helps you to make better sense of this challenging and dynamic topic as you endeavour to carry out actions and interventions that serve to improve the situation of migrants and the societies in which we all live.
(from the IOM Director General's Foreword).


This World Migration Report 2018 is the ninth in the series. Since 2000, IOM has been producing world migration reports to contribute to increased understanding of migration throughout the world. This new edition presents key data and information on migration as well as thematic chapters on highly topical migration issues. Please click on the links below to access the report. The report can be downloaded as a whole, or by separate chapters.

There is continued recognition of the importance of improving our understanding of the dynamics and complexities of migration, mobility and displacement, and of addressing these issues globally and locally. Against a backdrop of growing interconnections between people and states, making migration safer and better regulated have become key global priorities.

By their very nature, the complex dynamics of migration can never be fully measured, understood and regulated. However, there is a continuously growing and improving body of data and evidence that can help make better sense of the basic features of migration in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. In this sense context, this overview chapter begins with a brief discussion of the global scale of migration and displacement and the benefits of migration. It explains key aspects of the renewed World Migration Report Series and how the World Migration Report 2018 seeks to use the body of available data and research to contribute to more evidence-based analysis and policy debates on some of the most pressing global migration issues of our time. The final section provides a brief introduction of each of the chapters in the 2018 report.  


  • Since 2000, nine world migration reports have been produced by IOM and it has become the organization’s flagship publication series. Its continued strong focus is on making a relevant, balanced and evidence-based contribution that increases the understanding of migration by policy makers, practitioners, researchers and the general public.
  • The series has been refined to focus on two key contributions for readers: Part I: key information on migration and migrants (including migration-related statistics); and Part II: balanced, evidence-based analysis of complex and emerging migration issues. At a time of heightened concern about migration and its increasing complexity and growing interlinkages with a multitude of other public policy issues, there is an even stronger case for maintaining the series’ contribution to understanding migration. The two parts are intended to provide both overview information that helps to explain migration patterns and processes globally and regionally, and insights and recommendations on major issues that policy makers are or soon will be grappling with. Refinement of the series is also in recognition that as the focus on, and complexity of, migration intensifies, a series that provides both overview information on migration and migrants as well as analyses of more topical issues is likely to be an important resource for a greater number of people.
  • As the UN’s Migration Agency, IOM needs to provide information and analysis that is relevant, accessible, sound, accurate and balanced; a significant reference publication such as the WMR must ‘add value’ and complement, rather than duplicate existing work. The report series has thus been reframed to offer a strategic focus on complex and emerging issues facing migration policymakers, rather than describe or assess current policy and governance on migration.


This edition of the world migration report is the first in the revised series designed to better contribute to understandings of current and strategic migration issues. 
Part I on “key data and information” contains three institutionally produced chapters:

  1. Global migration trends and patterns;
  2. Regional dimensions and developments; and 
  3. Recent contributions to migration research and analysis by academia and a wide range of different organizations, including IOM. 

Part II contains six chapters authored by scholars and applied researchers working on migration and mobility. They cover a range of “complex and emerging migration issues” that are directly relevant to some of the most prominent and important debates about migration and mobility in the world today. Many of the topics lie at the heart of the conundrums that face policymakers as they seek to formulate effective, proportionate and constructive responses to complex public policy issues related to migration.

  1. Development of global governance frameworks for international migration;
  2. Relationship between migration, mobility and changing levels and types of transnational connectivities; 
  3. Migrants’ perspectives on migration journeys;
  4. Media reporting on migration and migrants;
  5. Relationships between migration and violent extremism; and
  6. Migrants and cities.

To make better sense of migration and regulate migration more effectively, two cross-cutting takeaways emerge from the various chapters of the report: (1) geographic, demographic and geo-political variations of migration issues need to be better understood and considered; and (2) the many interconnections in the analysis and policymaking on migration and mobility need to be recognized.
To read the full report, please go to


InfoSheet No 1    Report overview: Making sense of migration in an increasingly interconnected world
InfoSheet No 2    Migration and migrants: A global overview
InfoSheet No 3    Migration and migrants: Regional dimensions and developments
InfoSheet No 4    Migration research and analysis: Growth, reach and recent contributions
InfoSheet No 5    Global migration governance: Existing architecture and recent developments
InfoSheet No 6    Mobility, migration and transnational connectivity
InfoSheet No 7    Understanding migration journeys from migrants’ perspectives
InfoSheet No 8    Media reporting of migrants and migration
InfoSheet No 9    Migration, violent extremism and social exclusion
InfoSheet No 10  Migrants and cities: Stepping beyond World Migration Report 2015