People on the Move: Global migration’s impact and opportunity

Date published



This report, which was compiled by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), presents new findings on the global impact and opportunity of migration. It reveals that migrants contribute 9.4% of global GDP today despite comprising only 3.4% of the global population. It also shows that better integration – social, economic, and civic – could add an additional $1 trillion a year to the global GDP.

The report furthermore provides working examples from countries around the world and shows that it is possible to narrow the productivity gap between migrants and native-born individuals through better integration, while highlighting that all countries have to do more to achieve strong integration outcomes.

Further highlights from the global report include:

· The output generated by migrants is $3 trillion higher than if they had remained in their countries of origin reflecting the higher productivity of migrants in their country of destination
· The first-ever calculation of the contribution of migrants to GDP, which is sized at $6.7 trillion in 2015. This is 9.4 percent of the global total GDP despite the migrant community representing just 3.4 percent of the world’s population
· The vast majority of migration is economically driven with less than 25 million being characterized as refugees and asylum seekers, and with more than 119 million economic migrants having moved from developing to developed countries.

The full report can be accessed here.

MGI has complemented its global perspective with a detailed report titled Europe’s new refugees: A road map for better integration outcomes that focuses on the unprecedented influx of refugees and asylum seekers to Europe in 2015/16. The report explores the effects of the 2.3 million refugees and asylum seekers’ arrival in 2015/16. It sets out the potential benefits to countries that achieve better integration and finds that putting the already committed national and EU funds for refugees to the best use could contribute an additional €60 billion to €70 billion annually to the GDP of European economies by 2025. It also details what type of decisive action is required on asylum, repatriation, and integration management across the European nations, learning from proven practices at regional, national and local levels.


Document link

Document type

Number of pages

136 pages

Publisher / Organisation

McKinsey Global Institute

JMDI publication