NEW YORK, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they have developed a predictive model of worldwide population shifts to better estimate international migration patterns.
Rockefeller University researchers, with assistance from the United Nations, said the new formula predicts how people will migrate during coming decades.
Researchers know nearly 200 million people now live outside their countries of birth. But the patterns of migration that got them there have proven difficult to project. Since nations use population projections to estimate jobs, schools, housing and healthcare needs, the scientists said their new formula is expected to lead to better use of resources and improved economic conditions.
"From year to year, it has been difficult to calculate how the world's population ebbs and flows between countries other than guessing that this year will resemble last year. But that is critical information in so many ways, and this model offers a new and unified approach that, we hope, will be of global benefit," said Professor Joel Cohen, the study's lead investigator.
The model appears in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.