Category Archives: Migrant World & City Data

Data and Statistics on immigration, migrants and new trends in migration patterns

Where International Students to Europe are From

How many migrants come to Europe to study each year? Migreat dug into the data about Europe’s five major education markets and has summed it up in what we think is a beautiful infographic.

Infographic Students to Europe v2-01-01-01

Main circles – Top 10 country of origin
The above infographic depicts the top 10 countries of origin for international students for each of the five major study abroad destinations in Europe.

Each circle represents a country, from the least popular of the five European countries (Spain attracts just 1.5% o international students globally) to the most attractive (the UK attracts 11% of all international students).

The bars on the edge of a circle represent the international student country of origin. The size of the bar is proportional to the volume of international students from that country compared to other nationalities for that single education hub.

You can spot a few countries like China, Morocco, Germany and  Italy – which are major sources of international students to Europe.

Bottom bars – Absolute volumes of International Students to Europe
The bars at the bottom put these proportions in perspective by their absolute values. For example, there are almost 8 times more international students in the UK than in Spain.

Comparing volumes of international students from one country to another instead of nationalities enables everything to be put into perspective.

For example, Indian students are only in the top 10 for the UK. Indians do not appear to be moving to other European hubs in significant numbers to study.

Still, from an absolute numbers perspective, there are more Indians studying abroad in the UK (almost 30,000) than Moroccans (first country of origin of international students to France) studying abroad in France (28,000 approx).

Future of International student immigration to Europe?
With immigration rules for international students in the UK changing and tightening, the volumes and the countries of origin for international students will likely be affected.

Will Indian students start studying in France after the French government confirmed to offer a Post-study work visa for Indians of two years? Or will they move to Germany where the Government is proactively looking to attract Indian workers with a job employment platform built for them to find work in Germany?

What is certain, is that continental Europe has set goals to attract more international students to its universities and for this, they have laid down attractive offers:

Need help with your student visa application? Ask online to Migreat Immigration experts.

Top 3 innovative initiatives supporting refugees’ integration and rights in Europe

Here are Migreat’s picks of interesting refugee integration initiatives in Europe.  Hopefully this list will cheer you up amidst the daily sad news coming from Macedonia and Calais.

This online platform organises the matchmaking between legal refugees and people in Germany and Austria wanting to offer a room in their flat or house.

This is a platform we love at Migreat because it benefits both parties. Refugees are able to live in adequate accommodations and learn the local language faster, which helps them more easily adjust to their new environment. In addition, the host learns about a different culture and helps a person in a difficult situation, not to mention the fact that the host plays a critical role in helping the refugee contribute to his or her new community.

Currently an overwhelming majority of refugees live in overcrowded housing without adequate access to jobs and language learning resources. Therefore, this couchsurfing initiative offers refugees meaningful opportunities to improve their lives.

Anyone in Germany and Austria can register their flat. The more details about your living situation (such as the number of flatmates, the languages you speak, your city and surroundings), the better for them to match you with the right refugee. If you want to take part in this initiative you may sign up here. Website

This is perhaps the most ambitious refugee integration project at the moment. The web app Workee aims to match employers’ needs and refugees’ skills. The challenge is significant: refugees for the most part speak English or French in addition to their native language but rarely speak German. It remains to be seen whether an initiative that provides non-fluent foreigners with jobs can avoid controversy.

That said, Germany’s job market is more flexible and is not suffering from high unemployment rates like the rest of Europe. The common complaint that low-skilled migrants and refugees take the jobs of natives might resonate less in this environment.

The act of obtaining work rights and refugee status might still be a hurdle for these refugees, in addition to the act of finding a job – and we hope Workee can support employers to get beyond these bureaucratic challenges. Currently, after three weeks live, the website offers over 430 jobs. In Berlin more than 60 employers have been using the platform -a good start for a promising initiative.

A school for refugee sounds very promising given the need for software developers in Europe and the booming of the tech industry all around the world. Anne Kjær riechert, founder of berlin peace innovation lab and Farhad Dilmaghani, former state secretary for labour and integration in Berlin developed the idea to change perceptions of refugees from a problem to deal with to an opportunity for Europe to enrich its culture and empower its economy. Their school project has just started this September, and it is likely that it will get a lot of applicants – Germany is expected to received 800,000 applications of asylum seekers this year. All that is required, is from Europeans to provide as little help as bringing an old unused laptop for those refugees to start learning. Migreat will keep an eye on the most promising one to recruit for developing our own code 🙂
And one last initiative – out of our top 3 but still interesting to mention as it will stimulate some conversation about what is fair to do and what Europe is doing to help people escape persecutions and war at home.

This initiative is very controversial to say the least. It was sparked by German activists based on the historical example of West Germans who used to smuggle people out of communist East Germany during the Cold War. It is a website that basically encourages Europeans to help undocumented migrants cross borders of Europe to the destination of their choice.

The video shows two Germans giving a lift to an undocumented migrant into Austria at a remote border crossing high in the Alps. Helping undocumented migrants cross the border is a criminal offence in most European countries.

The Peng Collective, the group of activists and artists behind the initiative, claim it is a justified act of civil disobedience. “Can it be just to restrict people’s most basic freedoms on the basis of their nationality? Who actually decides who deserves a better life and who doesn’t?” The website gives practical advice on where to find migrants, how to avoid attracting police attention, and legal tips on escaping prosecution for trafficking.

“In most cases, even if people doing so are caught, it is likely they will escape punishment, or at most get a fine,” the website says. It warns drivers not to accept any money, in order to escape prosecution for trafficking.

The collective has started to collect donations for a legal aid fund to help pay the costs of anyone prosecuted for helping people cross borders.


Migreat is always happy to receive submission to review any app or platform that support Migrants and refugees integration. Submit it to us on Twitter @migreat.

Durham honours Human Migration and the Environment for a whole month

An International Conference & Art Exhibition on climate change induced migration takes over the whole city of Durham, UK until the 5th of July.

Footprint Modulation Migration & Climate Change Conference

For a whole month, the city of Durham has taken the pledge to be the epicentre of knowledge on climate-induced migration thanks to its ambitious artistic director Kooj Chuhan, and the unfolding of a four day conference at Durham University titled ‘Human Migration and the Environment: Futures, Politics, Invention’.

Five major venues spread over the city are exposing various Art shows from international and UK artists until July 5th all related to the theme of climate change and migration. The major exhibit aims to provoke a discussion on climate change induced migration. The point being that nobody in the common media is arguably joining the dots between climate change and migration but reporting on events as they go.

The exhibit takes the stance to focus on the long-term trends and core push factors of migration against the short-termist approach to migration by the Media and politicians.

Indeed, Government frivolously create narratives for their electorate that provide excuses for their rules and policies when, as matter of fact, migration is driven by a major environmental factors: decades of droughts, climate changes or environmental catastrophe have pushed humans to go for better and safer places to live. The various art shows unveil the context and the deeper narratives of migration today that we are all blind to.

Tracey Zengeni @ The MIner's Hall, Durham

A message that we are sensitive to here at Migreat: we believe that migration is a fact of life, and migration journeys cannot be controlled but only made more or less challenging by government policies. As a result, Migreat believes government have in their hands to decide where they want to set the line of who is legal and who is illegal.

This message will be culminating and articulated during the four days conference this weekend Sunday 28th until July 1st.

The project was developed in partnership with the international conference titled “Human Migration and the Environment: Futures, Politics, Invention”. It concludes four intensive years of Europe-wide workshops, organised and led by Durham University Geography Department.

A free online webcast of some of the conference sessions will be live at this link on Monday and Tuesday.

Conference details at

Immigration to European Major Cities in One Picture

Did you know that there are almost as many migrants in London as there are migrants in the four other major cities of Europe; specifically Madrid, Milan, Paris and Berlin, combined?

Migrant presence in five cities of Europe

At a time when immigration is a toxic word in many political debates around Europe, it is good to take an objective view about immigration and its numbers. Many elements are frequently not considered by the Media. At Migreat, we want to provide the big picture about immigration and the facts about it in Europe.

We picked the cities where the Migreat Community Platform is live – and where Migreat delivers information daily to migrants. We then combined census data and city population data, added it all up – and started comparing. What we found are the following five interesting facts:

1. London overcrowded with migrants? Well, not really. London is 15 times the area of Paris – with an overall population only 2.7 times that of Paris. So if one needs to complain about migrants – maybe Parisians should do so before Londoners?

2. Madrid, the most cosmopolitan city! Almost one out of three residents of Madrid is a migrant – making it the European capital with the largest proportion of migrants among the five selected; it also has the second highest concentration of migrants after London. Most migrants come from Latin America (592,271) – thanks to easier and more advantageous visa rules (and language), with a surprisingly large Romanian community (179,844) that is four times bigger than the one in London (44,848). And yet, no one is complaining about Romanians in Madrid (not to be mistaken with Roma people as we have previously written).

3. Immigration to Europe is heavily influenced by the colonial past & the labour shortages of the 70’s. There is a clear link between 19th century colonial empires, the economic history of European countries and the presence of specific migrant communities in each European Capital. One out of two migrants in Paris is of Maghrebi origins, and one out of three migrants found in Berlin, London and Madrid is of Turkish, African/South Asian and Latino origins.

4. Paris is the capital with the smallest population of migrants as a percentage of the population and yet, one of the leading parties in the run up to the next election (and growing in popularity) is an extreme-right anti-immigration party. This confirms the idea that anti-immigration feelings are bred in cities where people are less exposed to migrants and immigration.

5. Language & geography are the main factors of choice for the destination country.  Aside from the colonial past, the data confirms that the favorite destination for the various migrant communities of Europe is the destination that shares a similar language and culture. Francophone Africans live in Paris, Latinos migrate to latin cities first, and English speaking migrants are found predominantly in London.

Migreat produces regular infographics on immigration and migrants – follow our blog to receive them in your inbox.

Disclaimer – All these numbers are extracted from Census data from 2011 or city books of registered citizens. This means that the data may not reflect the exact numbers of migrants and can miss out on recent inflows of migrants coming from Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East.

The New British: Photographic Portraits of London Migrants

Be part of something big: Chris Steele-Perkins, world famous photographer part of the Magnum Collective is looking to make photographic portraits of migrant families living in London as to record the fast changing idea of what is British. Here is more about the project and how to participate as a migrant!

New British
Adebimpe Ogunmokun, (mother) with her sons Joe Arojojoye (left) and Michael Ashaplu. From Nigeria. Credits: Chris Steele-Perkins.

Chris Steele-Perkins, the famous photographer part of the Magnum collective with work in the collection of the Tate, the V&A and the National Portrait Gallery and author of over 10 books, is back with a new project on his favourite topic: the British Identity; and is now actively looking for applicants.

The photographic portraits Chris intents to take in the next weeks are family portraits (whatever family means to someone) within the migrant’s home in London. Contacted on the phone to speak about the project, Chris said that the photos need to be taken in the house, to enforce the idea of “residency”.

Family of Shamshad Jafferji Cockcroft, who is from Tanzania with her husband Laurence. At front son Joshua, far left Joshua’s girlfriend Hariette Clarke. Centre back, daughter Jasmine with her baby Elaina. Jasmine’s husband is standing, Roland Heap. Credits: Chris Steele-Perkins.

Migrants are often portrayed in the media as ‘mobile’, ‘taking resources away’ from locals and not really here to stay and contribute. By taking pictures in the house, Chris highlights the fact that most migrants are actually investing here to stay, that they make a contribution to their new local area and that they do take part as such in the unique identity of London. The latest statistics confirm that idea: 37% of Central London residents were born outside the UK.

Interestingly, the title of the project was initially the New Londoners; and in fact, most migrants to the UK resides in London. However, Chris changed his mind to the title “the New British”, because as he explains it, if London is not representative of the all UK, it is influencing the notion of British Identity and likely to impact other regional cities on the long term.

“The most significant change taking place in Britain right now is immigration. It represents a seismic shift in what it means to be British. I plan to record this change: to leave a record behind of this phenomena at the start of the 21st century”

New British - Mark Power
Ziggi Golding and her daughters Savannah (blonde), Nuala Ferrington and her daughter Kione. Ziggi is from Jamaica. Credits: Chris Steele-Perkins.

Cris is looking to photograph people living in London who are from another country in the world – that’s around 200 states recognised by the UN, and a few more besides, like Kurdistan.

Are you or your parents not originally from the UK, but now you live here? Great, you might be interested and qualify for the project! Reach out to Chris at, or Chloe at or Izabella at and tell them a little bit about yourselves. They will get back to you and arrange an appointment, simple as that.

If you want to check Chris out further his website is

What’s in it for you? Be part of something big and exciting. Be part of London. Be in a book. Be in an exhibition. And, get a free signed print of your family photograph. Enjoy the experience. Be proud of who you are. It costs you nothing. 🙂 

How many countries can you go without the need for a visa?

Lucky owners of European or North American passport, you have access to more than 140 countries without the need to apply to a visa.

And you, how many countries can you go? Tell us and share on twitter @Migreat #HowFar #NoBorders

Check where your country ranks on the below list:

Visa & places you can go

Looking for help on visas for Europe? Ask

Credits: The full list is provided and updated annually by Henley & Global.

International Students are Immigrants too

For International Migrants Day, Migreat is celebrating migration around the world with a blog post a day.

Today, Migreat’s blog looks at a growing category of migrants with a power to influence the world we live in tomorrow: the international students.


International student numbers have doubled since 2000 to reach 4.5 million in 2012. Most international students are heading to developed countries with 75% of them studying in an OECD country.

The battle to attract talent is fierce. International students are estimated to bring net benefits to the economy: international students not only pay full university fees, they also finance a whole industry made of accommodation suppliers, banks and mobile phone providers.

The amount of money spent by Higher Education Universities in the UK to recruit those students is estimated at £57,8 million, for a return of £3,5 billion in tuition fees.

The top countries of destination for international students by numbers are

  • United States (18%)
  • United Kingdom (11%)
  • France (7%)
  • Australia (6%)
  • Germany (5%)
  • Russian Federation (4%)
  • Japan (4%)
  • Canada (3%)

It is likely to change in the next years with the growing attractiveness of Canada and Germany as a destination and cheaper option than the US or UK; and difficulties to gain short work experience after studying in the UK and southern European countries.

The British Council created an infographic out of data on international student numbers and nationality, coupled with an explanation over drops and increases in some nationalities’ numbers.

British Council International Students Widget

What’s moving those students?

The British Council infographic data highlights roughly three factors influencing the migration flows of students: financial context, the educational offer and immigration rules of the receiving country.

Fluctuation in currency values, access to scholarships or student loan opportunities and a country’s education sector financing are main financial elements that drastically impact international students flows.

It is all about the money

Just think of the drop in Indian students (-47%) since 2011 going to UK Universities. Since 2011, the Indian Rupee has decrease of value of 50% ( £1GBP buying 70 INR in 2011, now in 2014 approximately 100INR) causing many indian international students to drop their dreams of financing their studies, and looking at student loans as a solution.

Similarly, Germany has dropped its students fees for all and also international students. Since then, it has seen a surge in applications from overseas students coming from low income countries like Bangladesh (29.3%), Iran, Egypt and Pakistan.

Show me your visa

Immigration rules also have a play. It is often argued that the drop in Indian and Pakistani student numbers in the UK are not just the fact of fees, and are reinforced by stricter immigration rules; mainly tougher student visa requirements and the closure of the post-study work visa.

Migreat blog covered the topic extensively this year, and UK Higher Education Institution Representatives have repeatedly voiced their concerns.

Indeed, the possibility to work in the foreign country while studying is essential for many international students that heavily rely on private loans to pay tuitions fees.

Also, international students are taking a risk investing in education abroad. The chances of finding a work after graduating to pay back the loan and gaining meaningful work experience that can be recognised back home, is an important element influencing the decision to study abroad.

Competitive Marketing

Although not very obvious in the infographic, it can’t be ignored that universities are heavily marketing themselves abroad. Bright students are not the privilege of just some countries. Governments are embracing this idea by growing their pool of talents with international students in the aim of boosting economic competitive advantage.

Canada, Australia and Germany are perfect examples of countries where the government is actively working hard to market the education sector in order to attract more talents to come and stay. Germany expects it to reverse the damaging effect an ageing population would have on its economy. Canada is investing in international students to keep its economy attractive and innovative. Australia continues to attract international students as a mean to keep growing its influence within a globalised economy.

Love, what else?

However and finally, one aspect of studying abroad is rarely reflected in numbers but has acted as a major driver too: dating opportunities. According to a study published by the European Commission, the Erasmus program, the popular EU youth mobility scheme that enabled million of European students study in a different EU country gave birth to one million babies. The study suggests that more than a quarter of those who take part in its long-running Erasmus scheme meet their long-term partner while studying abroad – and that more than one million babies may have been produced as a result.


At Migreat, we are supporting anyone studying abroad and will help you migrate where you heart belongs. Get guidance over courses abroad, universities and visas via

Global Migration Numbers Data and Infographics

For International Migrants Day, Migreat is taking on social media to celebrate migration and migrants all around the world with the #IAmAMigrant Hashtag. Today, we start with facts about worldwide Migration.

International Migrants Day

The big numbers

There are 232 million people in the world living outside of their country of origin. If migrants were representing a country, they would be part of the fifth largest country in the world; topping Brazil (203 Million), well below China (1,367 Million) and India (1,263 Million), but close to the population of the US (319 Million) and Indonesia (252 Million).

Migration: a Developed Country Phenomenon

Migrant flows have changed over the years. Nowadays, Migrants are mostly coming from developed countries with half of them originating from OECD countries to stay in OECD countries. Migration from poor country to rich country, against common beliefs accounts only for a quarter of the overall migration flow each year. Click the link to read more amazing facts about migration.

In other words, migration flows are driven by people from developed countries rather than underdeveloped countries. As a matter of fact, one out of ten people living in the OECD is a migrant. See and click on the infographic below to learn more.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 16.09.56

This year 2014, the majority of new migrants are coming from Asia and European countries: China (10%), Romania (5.6%), Poland (5.4%) and India (4%). You can get the hard numbers on this other infographic by Italian Infographic Designer Carlo Zapponi.

People movin
Extract of a dynamic Infographic by Carlo Zapponi. See it live on

Since the crisis, Germany has become a hub for migrant workers and students.

A Growing Number of Educated Migrants

30% of migrants worldwide are highly skilled workers with a university degree. This will probably continue to increase as the number of students worldwide enrolled on courses outside of their country of citizenship more than doubled since 2000. In 2012, there are 4.5 million international students, with 75% of them enrolled in OECD countries.

english-exam (1)

However, all is not bright and blue for these highly-skilled. Student and work visas are tough to obtain in some countries like the UK or the US. Migrants are less likely to be employed than native borns. When employed they are 50% more likely to be overqualified for the job. It is a lot of wasted economic potential that needs and can be fixed!

Join the call

As Ban-Ki Moon, UN Secretary General said:

Migration is an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety and a better future. It is part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family

Join the #IAmAMigrant online conversation with @Migreat and @UN

Latin Americans in London: a thriving and lively community embracing multiculturalism

This post is part of a series of blog posts introducing the multiple migrant communities living in London.

Almost everyone in London knows one or two good spot for Mexican or Peruvian food, enjoys the yearly parade of Afro-latino communities in the Notting Hill Carnival or has enjoyed a good book from the finest Latin American writers. But how well do you know your “vecinos”?

Ecuadorian women dressed with traditional costume performing during Carnaval del Pueblo. Photo credit:
Ecuadorian women dressed with traditional costume performing during Carnaval del Pueblo. Photo credit:

More Latinos in the UK than you imagine

No one knows exactly how many Latin Americans live in the UK, but some estimations from 2008 indicate that from the approximate 186,500 in the United Kingdom around 113,500 live in London. Comparing this number with data from 2001, the community has multiplied nearly four times in recent years, making it one of the fastest-growing communities in the UK.

If you still need more proof on how quickly the community has grown, just visit the main places where the community meet, socialise and do business, such as Elephant and Castle – particularly, Tiendas del Sur -, Pueblito Paisa in Seven Sisters or even Brixton Market. You’ll be surprised not just by the numbers, but also by how dynamic the community is in London.

The community is open for business

The Argentinian Noel Alonso created a successful business from her house in Birmingham
The Argentinian Noel Alonso created a successful business from her house in Birmingham

Latin Americans are a hard-working community, with an employment rate higher than 80%. In recent years, London has seen an increase in Latino-run businesses that cater for both Latin Americans and other communities in the UK. You can read some of their stories and how they set up successful businesses from Mariana Ciancio, freelance writer at Migreat.

Since the crisis shook the European economies, the UK looks more and more to Latin America to invest and create new business relationships. The Latin American community in the UK is now looking for the opportunity to serve as a bridge between both economies and lead UK investors to new markets in their countries.

A Latino footprint to the City

Talentos Group is one of the many Latin American groups that spread Latin American culture in the UK
Talentos Group is one of the many Latin American groups that spread Latin American culture in the UK

Latin Americans are seen as cheerful and colorful people, and despite this view being mostly a stereotype, there’s some truth in it. The community has been able to create spaces where they can express its particular joie de vivre in this too often isolating city. Every year, the community holds important events such as film, theatre and food festivals and even its very own Carnival, that after a break is due to continue next year.

A very active community, Latin Americans have a profound influence on London’s nightlife, especially around Brixton and Notting Hill.

A community fitting well in London’s multicultural character

Latin Americans tend to enjoy London multiculturalism because they are themselves a very diverse community: while some Latinos consider themselves white, there’s an important proportion that proudly expresses their afrodescendent and/or indigenous roots.

Race aside, Latin Americans’ migration journeys are very diverse. While some came directly to London to study, a growing number of them migrated from regions of Europe where job opportunities have become scarce after the economic recession. And let’s not forget, of course, the varied nationalities Latinos represent; Brazilians and Colombians being the most commonly found in London.

Blue plaque that commemorates Simón Bolívar trip to London, where he met another key figure in the Independence of Latin America, Franciso de Miranda. The place where they met, Miranda's house, it's now a museum that celebrates the work and life of both distinguished men
Blue plaque that commemorates Simón Bolívar trip to London, where he met another key figure in the Independence of Latin America, Franciso de Miranda. The place where they met, Miranda’s house, it’s now a museum that celebrates the work and life of both distinguished men

Despite clear differences to the British and other migrant communities, Latin Americans have created local connections and made themselves recognised as fully part of London’s street identity.



At Migreat, we support the integration of migrants within their local neighborhood. Beatriz curates and writes news and guides for Latin Americans about events, local services and offers. The community available on the platform is also useful to answer questions that newly arrived migrants may have related to residency, how to meet people and make new friends and generally have fun in the UK.

If you are new to London or interested in the community, visit us at Migreat Latinos and be part of our growing community!

Which passports are most frequently found in London?

For the first time, a book summarises all you knew about London in stunning designs and infographics, and we could not resist, as immigration number lovers at Migreat, to get excited when we saw a genius infographic on the country of origin and passport history of London foreign residents.

Telegraph Passport UK Acquired
Where Londoners are born – Census 2011. The Information Capital

In two similar but different infographics, Geographer James Cheshire and designer Oliver Uberti show us first the most common passport of London recently moved residents; and secondly the number of migrants that acquired the British nationality after spending a little while in the UK.

Telegraph Passport UK
Which Londoners turned British – Census 2011. The information Capital

Without surprise – Indians migrants are standing out on both infographics. In 2011, there were 156,500 Polish passport holders living in London beating the number of Indian passport owners (123,000).

The European Union passports are the most commonly find with 900,100 individuals living in London with such an EU passport. Asian passports come second with 348,600 passports coming from the large continent (Russia is not included as part of Asia here).

This said, there is a major drop and differences when one looks at the numbers of Polish passports in London, and the number of Polish born London residents – confirming evidence that many migrants after a few years apply to become British Citizen.

In 2011, there were 156,500 polish passports, and another 10,700 polish that owned a British Passport. Given the complex and strict immigration rules, as well as their long history of migration to the UK, it makes sense that there are more Indians who have turned British than Indians living in London on an Indian passport. Similarly, there are ten times more Kenyans with British passports (57,600) than with a Kenyan passport residing in London (5,700).


If you are an infographic lover, Migreat blog has much to offer: from infographic on US Entrepreneurial migrants to where UK migrant entrepreneurs are from – you can find all our infographic and migration data under the Migration World & City Data menu tab; or just follow the infographic tag.