Comparative Perspectives on International Migration and Child Wellbeing

September 2012
Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 643, Page 6-15

International migration has been increasing since 1970, with the largest flows originating in developing nations and streaming into industrialized nations (Zlotnik 2006). The United Nations estimated the 2010 global foreignstock population at 214 million, up from approximately 82 million in 1970 (United Nations [UN] 2012; Freeman 2006). About 3.1 percent of all people did not reside in their country of birth in 2010, compared with approximately 2.2 percent in 1970.1 Contemporary international migration differs from that of earlier periods in several important ways related to the social and economic well-being of migrants, especially the young. First, the regional origins and destinations of migrants have changed. For example, many former European source countries have become immigrantreceiving nations (e.g., Spain, Italy, and Germany), while former immigrant-receiving South American nations now produce Europebound emigrants. Second, contemporary international migration is occurring against the backdrop of an unprecedented demographic divideā€”an aging industrialized world and a