International migration in the cities of the global South

Results from a recent exploratory study of 377 metropolitan areas spread across seven developing countries reveal the importance of international migration for city growth. In almost one third of cities, population change and replacement has been mainly determined by migration. The international component of migration was larger than the internal component in more than half of cities. Whereas internal migration tends to decrease with rising city size, international movements tend to increase. Positive net international migration substitutes for the net losses from domestic movements in large cities but complements the internal migration gains in intermediate-sized cities.

Demographic components of population growth in Brazilian cities according to city-size, 2000-2010 (annual rates):

Source: Lerch, M. (2020): International Migration and City Growth in the Global South: An Analysis of IPUMS Data for Seven Countries, 1992-2013, in Population and Development Review 46(3): 557-582.