Interactive Chart Shows Twenty Years of Global Migration

How It Works
April 2 2014 4:38 PM

World on the Move

Vienna-based statistician Guy Abel and geographer Nikola Sander created the very cool interactive chart above (via Tom Murphy) that documents migration flows among regions of the world for four five-year periods between 1990 and 2010. Data from 196 countries was included, but only flows of over 50,000 people are shown.

The interactive accompanies a new article in Science summarizing their findings. Overall, they estimate that “the largest movements to occur between South and West Asia, from Latin to North America, and within Africa.”

Advertisement

There are a lot of big stories happening on the chart. There’s the movement of South Asians for work in the Middle East—a trend that was basically nonexistent until around 2000. There's the large and often deadly migration of Africans to Europe. The enormous internal migration within Africa from 1990 to 1995. There's significant migration from basically every region to North America but—despite its booming economies—oddly little to East Asia.

I was surprised at the high level of migration from Latin America to Europe during the 2005–2010 period, but there’s reason to believe this trend may actually be reversing in the wake of the financial crisis. The Europe slice, in particular, may look quite different in the 2010–2015 version of this chart.

Here is a static version of the chart with tick marks representing hundreds of thousands of people:

circular_plot_flows_between_world_regions_200510_1

And here is a version of the chart broken out into individual countries:

circular_plot_flows_between_50_countries_200510

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 16 2014 6:00 AM Can of Worms Prudie offers advice to a letter writer who wants to blackmail a famous ex with tapes of his fetish.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 7:36 AM The Inspiration Drought Why our science fiction needs new dreams.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 16 2014 7:30 AM A Galaxy of Tatooines
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.