8 amazing facts about migration worldwide

A recent dataset from Pew Research Global Attitudes Project provides an interesting insight on the stock of migrants worldwide and migration patterns of people by nationality.


Many surprising facts can be found from this research contradicting stereotypes about immigration, especially the link between poverty and migration. Here we listed eight of these findings that appeared the most interesting and amazing to share.

1. Although the percentage of the world’s people living outside of their birth countries has remained the same in recent decades, the sheer number of international migrants has never been higher. Obviously, one main cause is the worldwide population growth from 2.5 billions in 1950 to nearly 7.5 billions people living on our planet nowadays.

Liverpool Street Station Rush Hour Crowd (1)

2. The UK is home to the most diverse immigrant community in the world. Based on the Herfindahl-Hirschman index – which is widely used by biologists, ecologists, linguists, economists, sociologists and demographers to measure the degree of concentration of human or biological populations – the diversity of immigrant birth countries in the U.K. on a 0 to 100 scale is 97. For immigrants living in the U.S., it is 91. It used to be said that the sun never set on the British Empire. Now, people from the many countries the British once ruled live inside the U.K.’s borders…

3. The poorest countries are the ones with the least emigration, that is people leaving the country to live abroad. Although international migration is intrinsically tied with the search for jobs, people in the most impoverished countries will most likely not have the money to finance a trip. The Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger – countries with some of the lowest U.N. Human Development Index ratings and GDP per capita – all have less than 3% of their population living outside their borders.

4. The Mexico-to-U.S. link is the most popular bilateral migration path in the entire world. In 2013, more Mexican immigrants (13 million) were living in the U.S. than all immigrants to Russia combined which ever nationality they belong to (11 million). To give the big picture, Russia is the second destination for immigrants in the world, after the United States which has the biggest foreign-born population (46 million immigrants).


5. The number of Indian-born people and Chinese-born people living outside of their respective countries both doubled between 1990 and 2013 – for India, from 7 million to 14 million, and for China, from 4 million to 9 million. India has the largest number of people living outside of its borders, in 2013 surpassing Mexico, the former leader.

6. The number of immigrants living in Spain grew nearly eightfold between 1990 and 2013, from less than 1 million to more than 6 million.

7. 84% of the United Arab Emirates’ population is foreign born. This is the highest share of immigrants compared to all countries in the world. The next three highest – Qatar (74%), Kuwait (60%) and Bahrain (55%) – also are in the Persian Gulf area. Most come from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.A known frenchy

8. The French like to live all over the world – emigrants from France live in more countries than emigrants from any other nation. Using the Herfindahl index, the destination diversity of emigrants born in France is 95 on a 0 to 100 scale. It is 89 for American-born people living outside of the U.S. There are at least 1,000 French-born people living in each of 83 different countries and territories; the most popular destinations are Spain (220,000) and the United States (180,000). Would that be related to recent policy changes regarding taxes? Who knows…

For more data from Pew Research, follow this link: http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/09/02/global-migrant-stocks/

Interested in immigration, visas and diaspora news? Follow @Migreat for the hottest immigration and visa related news 🙂

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