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Spend The Next Hour Clicking Your Way Through An Interactive Chart Of The World’s Migrations
April 7, 2014
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Between 2005 and 2010, about 1,228,700 people immigrated to Canada. The largest share, about 188,800 people, came from India, followed by China, the Philippines, the United States and Pakistan.

Those numbers come from a new paper recently published the journal Science that attempts to estimate where all the world's migrants come from and where they all go. By extrapolating from published United Nations data, Austrian researchers Guy Abel and Nikola Sander were able to create this incredible interactive chart, which demonstrates the global flow of people:

If you hold your mouse over North America, you can see how it attracts migration from all the regions of the world; hold the mouse over West Asia, which includes the Middle East oil states, and you can see how it's a powerful local attractor of migrants. Below is what you get when you click on "North America" and drill down to just Canada:

(Photo: Abel and Sander/Science)

Some of the big findings that the chart makes clear: the three largest movements of people occur from South Asia to West Asia (e.g. India to Saudi Arabia), Latin to North America (e.g. Mexico to the U.S.) and from one African nation to another (e.g. Tanzania to Burundi). In each five-year period they investigated, the researchers found that about 0.6 per cent of the world's population had changed countries — a figure that actually hasn't shown dramatic changes between 1995 and 2005.

One finding from the paper that's not so surprising? Overall, people tend to move from poorer to richer countries.

"The general tendency [is] for more developed regions to record net migration gains, whereas the less developed countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America sent more migrants than they received," the researcher noted.

You can read the full paper in Science, and find out more about the visualization on


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