IOM Asia-Pacific Releases Comprehensive Regional Secondary Data Review on Migration

Bangkok – With 55 per cent of the world’s population (over 4.3 billion), over 42 million international migrants, nearly 84 million of its residents, migrants abroad, and with an estimated USD 302 billion in remittance inflows in 2019, the Asia and the Pacific region’s need for a reliable, nuanced and harmonized evidence base, reflecting both current and historical migration developments has been imperative for some time – notably when it comes to policy-making, planning and operational purposes, and informing the public discourse on migration.

This is one of the main reasons why the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s Asia-Pacific Regional Data Hub (RDH) has published the Regional Secondary Data Review which provides an overview of the main data sources available at the regional level to understand migration dynamics, drivers, impacts and policies in Asia and the Pacific region.

The Review launched today (10/05) by IOM Asia Pacific Regional Director, Dr Nenette Motus also highlights gaps and limitations associated with existing data analysis and collection, and references existing reports that make use of it. Crucially, this set of resources is designed to be a live document to which new information sources can be added in future editions.

Speaking at the virtual launch, Dr Motus said, “I am very pleased that we now have this Regional Secondary Data Review, which should serve as a reference that allows us to establish an information baseline identifying official quantitative sources of knowledge related to migration trends, policies, drivers, impacts and characteristics in the Asia-Pacific region.”

She noted that the Review also outlines the main challenges which remain in terms of data availability, accessibility, comprehensiveness, quality and comparability. “Overall, strengthening of regional data coverage of various types of migration and vulnerabilities and development related to migration is needed, and this Review provides a very creditable first step,” Dr Motus added.

Notably, the Review also presents the availability and limitations of existing data at the regional level in multiple migration themes and sub-themes.

“When it comes to primary data collection, data harmonization across countries and representativeness of the sample populations are to be stepped up. As for secondary data compilation, these challenges come down mainly to the quality of national statistics, for which international coordination and standardization in data collection methodology is needed,” said Chandan Nayak, Asia-Pacific RDH team lead.

During the launch, the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre also launched overviews of migration data in Southern and South-eastern Asia on the Global Migration Data Portal. These sections discuss available data sources, their strengths and limitations, and the role of regional processes.

They also highlight main migration trends such as the share of female migrants from Southeast Asian countries being higher than the global average and that, before COVID-19, nearly 20 per cent of all remittances globally were received in South Asian countries.

The Regional Secondary Data Review is the first product of the Asia-Pacific RDH, aimed at consolidating regional capacity to implement the IOM Migration Data Strategy, which aims to strengthen regional evidence base on migration, Capacity development of IOM Offices and relevant Government partners and Ensure more evidence-based IOM and UN-wide engagement.

Another main objective of the Asia-Pacific RDH is to facilitate IOM’s country offices and Governments in monitoring national progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), SDG indicators with explicit reference to migration and GCM objectives are prioritized in this review.

Download the Regional Secondary Data Review here:

For more information, please contact at the IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Chandan Nayak at or Itayi Viriri at Tel: +66659390934, Email:

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