With 244 million immigrants in the world, which country has the most?

SOURCE: Swiss Info

By Duc-Quang Nguyen

With nearly 30% of the population born outside of its borders, Switzerland is one of the European countries with the highest proportion of foreigners. Globally, the Gulf countries host the most migrants. Still, contrary to popular belief, these rates have remained relatively stable over the past 25 years.

In absolute terms, the United States remains the champion of immigration – with about 20% of the world’s migrants. Then come Germany, Russia and Saudi Arabia – who together host 14%.

While the majority of migrants live in North America and Europe, last year saw more migration between developing countries than from developing countries to developed ones.

According to UN statistics, the following Gulf countries have the most migrants compared to their total population: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Although NGOs regularly denounce abuses against migrant workers in the Gulf countries, these countries depend heavily on foreign workers to sustain economic growth. A report from the International Organization for Migration shows that in Gulf countries, people generally have a favourable opinion of immigration.


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