Better economic prosperity, religious freedom and social unrest are just a few of the factors that drive immigration. These are major reasons the United States continues to be a popular destination for migrants.
However, you may be surprised by other countries with the most immigrants. According to data provided by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), 244 million people (3.3 percent of the world’s population) lived abroad in 2015. That’s an increase of 71 million since 2000.
Here are the top 5 countries with the most immigrants:
Countries with the Most Immigrants
8.5 million immigrants
10.2 million immigrants
11.6 million immigrants
12.0 million immigrants
46.6 million immigrants
Nearly two-thirds of all international migrants live in Europe (76 million) or Asia (75 million). North America hosts the third largest number of international migrants (54 million), followed by Africa (21 million), Latin America and the Caribbean (9 million) and Oceania (8 million).
Between 2000 and 2015, Asia added more immigrants than any other major area. Asia gained some 26 million international migrants during this period or 1.7 million additional migrants per annum.
UAE Has the Greatest Percentage of Immigrants
A staggering 88.4% of residents within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are international migrants. With the exception of Vatican City, this is the greatest percentage of any country in the world. Between 2010 and 2015, UAE’s immigrant population has swelled by more than 5.6 million. A large portion of the influx is made up of migrant workers to fuel the UAE building boom. With an economy powered mostly by oil, the country has been financing a tremendous amount of construction. The UAE has been criticized for the poor living and working conditions faced by many migrant workers.
China Has the Lowest Percentage of Immigrants
China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Viet Nam and Cuba are all at the bottom of the list for foreign-born residents. In each of the countries, only 0.1% of the population is made up of immigrants. However, China’s massive population makes it the most pronounced. Although regions such as Hong Kong and Macao (former European territories) have a large foreign-born population, mainland China is incredibly less diverse. Out of a total population of nearly 1.4 billion people in mainland China, only an estimated 978,000 are foreign-born migrants.
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