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The FRED® Blog

Net migration: The people in (and out of) your neighborhood


People move. From house to house, region to region, and country to country. This GeoFRED map colors the big picture with 2008-2012 data on how the world’s population has moved.

Specifically, these numbers reflect national net migration. Green represents positive net migration, with more immigrants than emigrants—that is, more people moved into the country to live than left the country to live elsewhere. Orange represents the opposite, negative net migration, with more emigrants than immigrants. These data, which are 5-year estimates, include both citizens and noncitizens.

Some not-so-surprising observations: The U.S. attracted a net inflow of over 5 million. The people of North Korea stayed put, with a net migration of effectively zero. Syria, in part due to the civil unrest since early 2011, had a net outflow of over 4 million people. And we have no migration data at all for Greenland, which has only about 50,000 residents.

How this map was created: After clicking the “Build New Map” button in the top right, use the “Tools” menu in the top left to do the following: (1) Under “Choose Data,” search for “Net migration.” (2) Under “Edit Legend” / “Number of Color Classes,” select 3 classes and insert the following values in the three user-defined intervals below: -0.1, 0, and any value above the U.S. value of 5.01 million, the highest in the world. (3) Under “Choose Colors,” choose the color scheme you prefer, including the one used here, which is second to last under “Divergent.”

Suggested by Chris Russell.

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