Mankind has been migrating from time immemorial. Currently, there are more than 200 million immigrants in the world, with the number rising every year. People choose to migrate for different reasons. Some leave their homeland due to poverty, famine, war, or due to lack of personal, political or religious freedom. Others go to foreign lands to pursue better entrepreneurial, employment or education opportunities. Then there are those that simply relocate to join family or friends.
Though there are migrants in almost all nations of the world, some countries have a higher population. These are the most preferred destinations for migrants all over the world:
Spain is home to about 6.7 million migrants, which makes up about 12% of the total population of the country. The second largest nation in the European Union attracts a high number of migrants for several reasons. First, its geographical location is favorable for African migrants to access it by sea. In addition, Hispanic people prefer Spain due to its linguistic and cultural ties with Latin America. The beautiful beaches and warm weather also make Spain a popular destination for foreign study and retirement.
The second largest country in the world, Canada is home to more than 7.5 million migrants. This is about a fifth of the total population. Canada is a popular destination due to its high income per capita, high quality of life, and outstanding education system. In addition, Canada’s government has liberal immigration laws which encourage people to migrate in order to unite with their families. However, in recent years, the screening process has become more rigorous, with more emphasis on job skills and language fluency.
The largest nation in the European Union, France has a total population of about 65 million. Out of this, about 7.6 million are migrants. France is ranked highly in terms of standards of living, healthcare and education. As a result, it has been a favorite destination for migrants for many years. France accepts about 200,000 asylum seekers and legal migrants on an annual basis.
4. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The United Arab Emirates holds the record for having the highest percentage of migrants compared to any other country in the world. Currently, more than 80% of the population hails from other countries. This wealthy nation attracts numerous immigrants mainly due to its numerous job opportunities. However, it has been criticized widely for its poor working conditions. Many workers have to toil for long hours in the extreme heat for very little pay.
Germany is home to almost 10 million migrants. It is a favorable destination for migrants due to its highly developed infrastructure, advanced education and healthcare systems, and high GDP. In addition, Germany has an aging population and one of the lowest birth-rates worldwide. As a result, the country depends on migrants to keep the economy going. This is why highly educated and skilled workers from overseas end up in Germany every year.
Australia is home to 6.7 million immigrants, who make up about a quarter of the total population. This country is an attractive destination for migrants primarily due to its stable economy. However, though highly skilled immigrants are warmly welcomed, the Australian government has been criticized for its detention of illegal arrivals.
7. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, the sixth largest economy in the world, has a total population of approximately 64 million. Out of this, about 8 million are migrants. Well-known for its high quality of life, the United Kingdom continues to attract more and more immigrants every year. As a result, the country has implemented anti-immigration government policies.
8. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is home to approximately 9.3 million immigrants, which is about a third of the population’s total of 29.3 million. Due to the sharp increase in the number of international residents, the country has placed a cap of 20% on the number of foreign workers. In addition, it has implemented austere policies concerning the granting of citizenship.
With a population of 145 million, Russia is the biggest country in the world. It boasts one of the highest GDPs in the world. Due to slow population growth, the Russian government has established policies that make it easy for foreigners to migrate into the country.
10. United States of America
With its excellent education system, social mobility, well-developed infrastructure and large economy, the United States of America is a popular destination for migrants. It is home to 46 million migrants from all cultures and races. Despite its anti-immigration policies, it still continues to attract thousands of migrants every year.
Though there are migrants in almost all nations of the world, these countries have the highest concentration. Let us know which one you’d pick in the comments section below.