Regional, rural and urban development


The Contribution of Migration to Regional Development

With many regions in OECD countries facing declining working age populations, the geographical dimension of migration has become crucial for regional development. Where migrants settle within countries and how much they contribute to the local economies are important questions for policy makers. This report aims to address these questions using two novel datasets that offer internationally comparable information on migration and migrants' labour market integration across cities, towns and rural areas in OECD countries. The report also analyses different dimensions of regional development and provides new evidence on how migrants contribute to regional income, innovation, international trade and labour markets.

Published on March 10, 2022

In series:OECD Regional Development Studiesview more titles


Executive summary
The geography of migration across OECD regions and cities
The integration of migrants in regional labour markets
COVID-19 and migrants across cities and regions
Regional economic development: The role of migration
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Key messages

80% of migrants are concentrated in metropolitan regions

Migrants are more concentrated in specific regions and cities than the native-born. 80% of all migrants live in metropolitan regions, i.e. regions with a metropolitan area of more than 250 000 inhabitants.

Migration contributes to regional economic convergence

On average, a 10% increase in the migrant population share is associated with 0.15 percent higher regional income per capita with higher gains in poorer regions.

Migrants play a key role in essential services in cities and regions

Migrants account for 14% of key workers across European regions. Almost a quarter of medical doctors and a fifth of nurses in cities are migrants.