According to the International Organization for Migration, 272 million people—3.5 percent of the world’s population—live in countries other than where they were born, three times as many as in 1970. Driven by economics, political violence, social dynamics, and climate change, most migrants relocate within their own regions while others move farther away.
The top global destination is the United States, where many immigrants now bypass gateways like California and New York to settle in cities and towns in the Southeast. North Carolina is a leading new immigrant destination. Today, nearly 1 in 6 people in Mecklenburg County is foreign-born, up from 1 in 27 in 1990. No matter where they settle—Nairobi, New York, or Charlotte—migrants, hosts, and the communities left behind must find ways to adapt.
The Migration Research Network brings together scholars across campus who study migration from multiple disciplinary perspectives. We have regional expertise in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. We work with local, national, and international organizations and are committed to policy-relevant engaged scholarship. The Migration Research Network is part of a larger cluster in Migration and Diaspora Studies that is recognized as a research area of focus and distinction at UNC Charlotte.