Most international migration in the twentieth century (except for forced population movements and exchanges) occurred during the first and last quarters of the century. From 1900 to 1920, the principal destination countries were the United States, a number of Latin American countries, and several of the Western European countries. During the previous century, these countries had provided much of the human capital that fuelled the industrial engines of the United States and Canada.
In the last thirty years, one witnessed both a widening and a deepening of the reach of the migration process. Virtually all countries in the Mediterranean East and Southeast Asian countries, many Latin American and English speaking Caribbean countries and Africa became very significant sending regions. By contrast, some countries have continued to be a source of larger scale emigration throughout the century and have developed complex historical symbioses with a specific receiving economy and society. Mexico and the United States, Africa and the developed world are archetypes of such a relationship.
In this paper, we reviewed the knowledge gained from the study of international migration in most of the world’s major regions. First, we examined the motivations and goals of the migrants and the households of which they are members. We also examined the effect of emigration and return migration on the home countries’ development. Finally, we make some suggestions as to how to improve this relationship in order to maximize the benefits of migration for developing countries in Africa through multilateral cooperation.