Atlas of migration 2020

European Union Publications Office
Publication date:


2020 has been a turbulent year. As noted by President von der Leyen in her State of the Union address, a virus a thousand times smaller than a grain of sand has exposed how delicate life can be. Yet, it has also provided the impetus for Europe to come together with renewed vitality. This new vitality is evident in the area of migration. In the last years, debates on migration have often been divisive and contentious, susceptible to misinformation and manipulation. During the pandemic, both the fundamental role that migrants play as essential workers and their higher vulnerability have come to the fore. In 2020, the New Pact on Migration and Asylum proposed by the European Commission has introduced a “fresh start” and stressed the need for a human and humane approach, based on facts and solid evidence. The Atlas of Migration 2020 is a contribution to better informing this fresh start on migration. Since 2018, our Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography has collated and presented harmonised and validated international data on migration, demography, asylum, integration and development. The 2019 edition covered all 28 Member States of the European Union and 171 countries and territories around the world. The new, 2020 edition comes with new factsheets for each continent, facilitating comparisons within and across them. The printed reference book is accompanied by an interactive online one, a ‘living tool’ which has improved accessibility and usability. The online Atlas of Migration is populated with the latest available data, gathered and processed in real-time by a data repository and presented in accessible country profiles, which can be adapted and edited to individual needs. The Atlas of Migration is a shining example of the Joint Research Centre’s capacity to build innovative tools to support the Commission’s culture of evidence-based policymaking, and I am delighted that it is so widely used in policy circles. It also provides an important reference source of verified migration data for the general public on a topic characterised by misinformation. We are working with the European Migration Network to make it available in all EU languages. Partnerships have been instrumental to build and improve the Atlas. My gratitude goes to all Commission and EEAS colleagues dealing with migration whose expertise and collaboration have shaped the Atlas of Migration since 2018, and to all of the international organisations that have contributed to the Atlas with their data. Finally, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape societies and economies around the world, the Atlas of Migration provides an essential resource to start understanding its implications for migration and mobility in the EU and worldwide. The third section of the 2020 edition focuses closely on the relationship between the pandemic and migration, providing some new insights and food for thought on what lies ahead.

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