Migration Studies

Authored by: Anne-Marie Fortier

The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415667715
eBook ISBN: 9781315857572
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934134


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International migration constitutes one of the key defining features of the contemporary world, so much so that Stephen Castles and Mark Miller (2009) refer to the late twentieth-and early twenty-first-century era as the ‘age of migration’. This is not to suggest that inter-national migration is new, but that its scope, rate of increase and diverse character are unprecedented. The United Nations Population Division (UNPD) estimates that between 1960 and 2007 the number of international migrants more than doubled, from 76 million in 1960 to 200 million in 2000, ‘or approximately three per cent of the world’s 6.5 billion population’ (Castles and Miller 2009: 5). Of these, approximately 10 million would be offi-cially recognised refugees (Castles and Miller 2009: 7). The UNPD ‘defines an international migrant as any person who changes his or her country of usual residence. An international migrant who changes his or her place of usual residence for at least one year is defined as a long-term migrant while a person who changes his or her place of usual residence for more than three months but less than one year is considered to be a short-term migrant’ (United Nations 2011: 1). These estimates do not include those who undertake weekly or daily cross-border journeys, nor does it include undocumented migrants (for whom numbers are not easily available). 1

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