The World Migration Report 2015: Migrants and Cities, New Partnerships to Manage Mobility ─ the eighth report in IOM’s World Migration Report (WMR) series ─ focuses on how migration and migrants are shaping cities and how the life of migrants is shaped by cities, their people, organizations and rules. Over 54 per cent of people across the globe were living in urban areas in 2014. The number of people living in cities will almost double to some 6.4 billion by 2050, turning much of the world into a global city. Human mobility and migration play an important part in this but are largely missing from the global debate on urbanization. Many city and local governments also still do not include migration or migrants in their urban development planning and implementation. The report aims to address this gap by considering migration as a defining factor alongside climate change, population growth, demographic change and economic crisis in shaping sustainable cities of the future.

The World Migration Report 2015 contributes to the global debate on migration and urbanization in three ways:

  • The report takes migration enquiries to the city level and helps improve our understanding of the local political economies of migration, and highlights the close connection between migration and urban development. Much of the current discussion about migration trends and migration policy tends to focus on the national level.
  • The report draws attention to the livelihood of migrants in the cities of the Global South. The existing discussions on migrants and cities are inclined to concentrate primarily on the Global North and the integration of international migrants.
  • The report examines both internal and international migration. Cities across the development spectrum have increasingly mobile and diverse populations to manage.

While acknowledging the vast differences between international and internal migration scenarios, and between the capacities of various countries to deal with these, the report highlights the growing evidence of potential benefits of all forms of migration and mobility for city growth and development. It showcases innovative ways in which migration and urbanization policies can be better designed for the benefit of migrants and cities.


The first two chapters of the report set out the main trends in cities and migration, examine the various urban settings which have experienced
recent growth of internal or international or even both types of migration flows, and highlight the diversifying migration flows.

Chapter 3 looks at aspects of urban vulnerabilities in general – livelihood and mobility strategies, barriers to accessing resources and specific
forms of vulnerabilities, as they affect the populations most at risk including migrant women.

Chapter 4 explores how urbanization and new mobility patterns can contribute to urban poverty reduction, growth and development and enhance migrant well-being.

Chapter 5 studies some of the urban governance conditions for migrant inclusion and partnerships.

Finally, the last chapter draws conclusions and makes recommendations for future initiatives to develop migrant-inclusive urban governance,
with reference to the inclusion of migration in the post-2015 global sustainable development framework.