Future migration trends

Last updated on 21 July 2020

Anticipating future migration flows encompasses an increasingly diverse field of approaches. Early warnings systems, foresight (scenarios) and forecasting are the three main approaches intended to provide informed guesses about future migration flows and trends. These approaches can provide crucial information for policymakers to anticipate future challenges and adjust policies, design programmes and allocate resources. Rather than providing an accurate prediction of future flows, many projects aim to highlight the inherent uncertainty of future migration and work towards greater preparedness and resilience through setting up contingency plans for various future possibilities. All approaches hinge on the underlying data that they use, such as experts, administrative data, surveys or censuses. Predictions in the field of migration appear particularly difficult given the complexity and diversity of the migration processes, the limited availability and quality of data, and the limited understanding of the migration drivers.

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