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The debate about balancing levels of immigration and emigration has a tendency to get bogged down in the politics of disputed figures and bloated statistics, which is unhelpful for getting to the reality of genuine migration levels.

Displaying information visually can provide much-needed clarity and promote informed discussion of such convoluted and complex issues. This visualisation harnesses global migration data from 2010, offering nation-by-nation summaries of the flow of population between nation states. 

With 216 million people not living in the country of their birth, it’s an awful lot of data to make sense of, but the two oppositional columns flowing into each other ably demonstrate the shifting levels of population in a way that feels natural and balanced.

The design demonstrates that population change is not simply about people arriving, but others leaving – and that understanding a nation’s migratory habits within the global environment is key to discerning and designing effective policy.