Countries With Most Immigrants

Countries With Most Immigrants

What Is Immigration All About? 

Immigration seems to be one of the most discussed topics today be it in the news forums, on political platforms, researches, studies, or in the social arenas. The debate over whether immigration should be encouraged or not, and the impact of immigration in a nation goes on. While some individuals bear an extremely strong opinion stating that immigration has been causing some deep-rooted effects on the overall economic and cultural development of the country, some are more interested in politicizing this with their own viewpoint. Nevertheless, this is one topic that keeps the place fired up every time there is a conversation going on anywhere. 

In this article, we are going to cover – the countries with most immigrants, and an overview of immigration by country to see where the migrants prefer to go the most, the impact that immigration creates on the growth and development of a country, and more. The later part of the article will also throw some light on the various ways that you can make the immigration policies better and encourage immigrant integration into the country the right way. However, before that, let’s first learn what immigration really is and what are the major reasons behind people immigrating to other countries leaving their home country behind. 

Top 15 Countries with the most amount of Immigrants

So What Is Immigration? 

Immigration is the term used when people relocate from their home countries to a country which is not their native and of which they are not citizens, in order to live there. The trend is that the people of the developing countries usually move through the immigration pathway to the ones that are developed and have a better economy. 

Globally, as of 2020, there are approximately 281 million migrants which contribute to about 3.6% of the world’s total population. Also, according to the United Nations’ World Migration Report 2020, one in every 30 people is an international migrant, and each year the percentage of these people crossing the borders of the foreign countries increases. This significantly increases the population size along with promoting the rich culture and economic impact, especially of the countries with the most immigrants and the highest immigration rates. 

Now, if you are wondering which are the countries with the most immigrants – then, some of the top ones on the list include the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, UK, to name a few.

What Makes People Immigrate to Other Countries? 

There are numerous reasons why people migrate to other countries. Some reasons can be as simple as- for getting a better education, moving in with a newly married spouse, or making more money by working in a developed country. Some reasons, on the other hand, are more complex like they live in a country with the fear of being persecuted, or are victims of conflicts or disasters, etc. 

The percentage of immigrants varies depending on the country and the situation and is independent of the size of the country. Immigration statistics by country show that there are countries that are larger than some of the others but may have more emigrants (people leaving that country to settle in another) for several reasons. Similarly, smaller countries may see more immigrants moving in to settle there. That said, let’s dig a little deeper into the various reasons why immigration really takes place. To make it easier for you to understand, we have categorized the reasons into two major factors: The push factor and the pull factor

Push factors: The push factor refers to the reasons that push or make the emigrants leave their country and move to other countries.  

Pull factors: The pull factor refers to the positive reasons why people want to go and settle in a particular country. As the name implies, the country’s beneficial factors attract or pull the individuals to live there. 

What Are Some Reasons That Influence Immigration?

Based on these main two factors, here are some of the reasons that influence immigration: 

Fear of Getting Persecuted or Was a Victim of Persecution in the Past: 

This is one of the major reasons why most people tend to leave their own country and move on to settle down in another. Persecution is generally based on race, nationality, religion, political belief, or membership in a specific social group. Many countries including the United States admit immigrants who meet the requirements under the asylum or refugee status. It is important to note that there is a significant difference between the two. While in order to enter the country as a refugee, you will have to get approval prior to entering the country, to be admitted as an Asylee, you can claim the status after arriving. 

Victims of Violence, War, and Conflicts

Many countries admit individuals and their families who escape from various political, social, or religious conflicts including war or other violence. The individuals or the victims are forced to leave their countries and move to these places to feel secure and protect themselves from getting affected by these situations. 

Victim of Natural or Environmental Disaster: 

Natural calamities, environmental disasters, or similar factors can majorly impact a person and their family in a big way often leading them to lose everything and pushing them towards poverty. In such situations, people who are displaced by environmental reasons typically seek to take refuge in other countries to start their life again. However, not every country has a well-chalked-out contingency plan in place. They are still trying to figure out what can be done in such cases because it is a growing situation currently. 

For Better Education: 

Serious students look for better opportunities everywhere and many of them seek to move to a different country to avail educational opportunities that are not available in their home country. Some students, however, love to explore different places or settle down in a new country for a new experience while they pursue their education there. Traversing for educational purposes contributes majorly to countries with the highest immigration rates. 

For Better Healthcare: 

There are several developing countries that do not have proper healthcare facilities. It comes as a challenge especially when someone has serious health issues which drive them to move to a country where they can get a better arrangement or treatment. 

For Children to Get Better Opportunities to Study and Work: 

Some parents migrate to a country that has better job opportunities and education facilities than what they can provide to their children in their home country. 

To Reunite With the Family: 

It can be extremely difficult to stay away from your family especially if they are your immediate relatives like your spouse, parents, or children. This is also one of the most common reasons why migrate- to get united with the family they have been staying away from. 

Better Job Opportunities or Entrepreneurship: 

Some people want to provide a better life for their family and they migrate to other countries hoping for a better job with better pay to support their family. Some employees also relocate to other countries because their job needs them to. Meanwhile, individuals interested in a business move to different countries to invest in businesses there or if they feel that their business will boom with the kind of demand or the market that particular country has. 

Marriage, of Course!

One of the biggest factors that add to countries with most immigrants is an individual getting married to the citizen of that country and migrating to be with their spouse. 

Moving on- if you are here to figure out which country might be the best for you to migrate to, then this segment of the article may be helpful for you. We have listed here some of the countries with the highest immigration rates, which speaks in itself that they clearly are the best ones you may want to give a thought to. 

Other than that, the following section will also throw some light on some of the countries with most immigrants and the least accepting migrants according to several proven studies and immigration statistics by country provided on several trustworthy research forums. 

Countries With Most Immigrants: What Are Some of the Best Countries to Immigrate to?

If you are looking to leave your home country to settle somewhere else, then you will obviously be looking for a country that can give you a good life, better financial prosperity, religious freedom, good job opportunities, and healthcare to name a few. Based on these factors and more, here are the top countries with most immigrants today:

United States: 

One of the top countries with the highest immigration rates, the United States stands first in the list with 51 million immigrants comprising 19% of the total migrant population across the globe. This means that the country currently has these many foreign-born individuals as per the immigration statistics by country. This makes it one of the most sought-after immigration destinations in the country’s long-standing history of various immigration policies. The US provides different ways in which an immigrant can get legal status to be in the country for a long term and then gradually get the opportunity to live permanently with some even heading to becoming a citizen. 

The country accepts immigrants on the grounds of capital investment, reunification with family, on a humanitarian basis, educational and job opportunities. The country’s almost streamlined immigration policies and benefits for refugees and asylums make it a home for several immigrants seeking a secure shelter. 

The immigrants do face a lot of hardships initially when settling down in the United States because of the language and the cultural differences, looking for a place to live, etc. but they gradually settle down. Additionally, the balanced life, secure environment, and religious freedom that they get in this country are what motivate them to stay back and get adjusted. 

Saudi Arabia: 

Speaking of the countries with the highest immigration rates, Saudi Arabia is yet another one that welcomes migrants from different countries. With a total of about 13 million people who have migrated to this country to start their lives afresh, this country shares 4.7% of the world’s total immigrant population, which makes it one of the popular destinations to move in. This also makes 38% of its own total population. 

Despite the country’s parched climate, religion, and culture, many from the Western as well as Asian regions migrate to this country for its incredible food, great lifestyle, and for financial reasons. According to various immigration statistics by country, the number of migrants increased to 93% between 2010 and 2015 after which the government had decided to put some restrictions in order to limit the number of people coming to settle down in the country.  


One of the main reasons why Germany ranks high in the list of countries with the most immigrants is its massive economy. Additionally, the country is also well known for its rock-solid educational system, beautiful city landscapes and infrastructure, and its systematic public transportation system. In fact, people want to settle down in most of the European countries for their excellent infrastructures and well-developed economy. On one hand, while the country encourages qualified people from around the globe to come and work for them and contribute to the nation’s overall development, the also sees many asylum applications every year. 

Germany comprises around 13.8 million immigrants which make for 4.8% of the world’s total immigrant population. So if you look for immigration by country, then you will find Germany to be topping in most of the best countries for immigration list.  


You might not have probably thought about this, but Russia is one of the countries with the highest immigration rates. Yes, this means that this is one of the top immigration destinations after the ones listed above that you can count on if you are planning on settling in a foreign country. One of the main reasons why the Russian Federation welcomes immigration is to strengthen its workforce. 

The immigration percentage in this country, however, has shrunk in the last few years. According to several reports on immigration by country, it is seen that most people migrate to this country for better pay than what they get in their home country. Russia currently stands with 12 million immigrants that make about 3.7% of the total migrant population across the globe. 

United Kingdom: 

The United Kingdom is yet again one of those countries that people want to go to and settle down for higher-paying job prospects and good educational opportunities. Other than these two reasons, many people have also been noted to move into the country to reunite with their family, and asylum. 

Most of the migrants who come to the United Kingdom are from India, Pakistan and Poland followed by the other countries. As per the various reports and immigration statistics by country, the UK has about 10 million immigrants that comprise 3.7% of the total population of the immigrants. 

While the above-listed ones are the countries with the most immigrants, there are a few more nations that fall under the category of the most accepting of immigrants according to several immigration statistics by country. Canada and Australia are two of them that have attracted a huge number of people wanting to settle down with or without family. Both share the same stats with 8 million immigrants as of 2019 which makes them stand as one of the countries that you may want to keep an eye on. Other than that a few others on the list are France, Italy, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Chile, South Korea, Japan, and Spain. 

What Are Some of the Countries That Are Least Accepting of Migrants? 

So now that you know which are the countries with the highest immigration rates, here’s a quick rundown on the ones that accept the lowest number of migrants or have seen the biggest declines in the last few years. They are Peru, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Israel, Hungary, Slovakia to name a few. 

With this let’s move on to see how Immigration impacts the countries and what are measures can be taken to make this process better. 

Why Is Immigration a Debatable Issue? What Are Some of the Best Ways to Introduce Immigration Policy? 

World map for Immigrant population

Immigration is one of the most seen headlines these days and while some look at it as a potential benefit to the country, some feel that this can affect the people of the country or the country itself negatively. The truth is there are different angles to look at it, and both parties are right. Here are the positive and the negative impacts that immigration can create on the host or the home country and the immigrant themselves:

Positive Impacts: 

  • Several jobs that the host country’s residents do not want to fill in due to low wages and status issues are usually taken up by the migrant workers. The reason is, immigrants are ready to do any type of work in order to earn their livelihood and support their family in their home country.
  • The immigrant workers often work for longer hours in order to earn more money. While this is definitely a contentious subject, this is a benefit to the host nation. 
  • Improvement in the workforce of the country is yet another significant advantage of allowing people to migrate into the country. Developed countries with the highest immigration rates like Germany, the US, UK invite well-qualified, skilled immigrants to fill certain positions in the company. This adds to higher tax revenues. This is why it is often found that the migrant professionals in a company have higher educational qualifications and better skills. 
  • Immigrants Admitted to the host country can add to diversity in culture allowing an improved understanding and tolerance level while learning about different cultures and backgrounds. 
  • Immigration promotes economic growth in a big way. As the immigrant workers improve the overall workforce of the country, there is a significant spike in the productivity of work. When this happens, the standard of living of people in the country increases, aiding the overall development of the nation’s economy. 
  • Highly skilled and well-educated immigrants create a solid talent pool which is definitely beneficial to the host country. These individuals have various job prospects open to them, thus enabling them to build their careers. 
  • On-demand laborers: The country that welcomes immigrant workers always has a supply of laborers and is flexible to fill in at the time of high demands even at low wages. This keeps the economy stable and booming. 

Negative Impacts:

  • There are high chances of migrant workers being exploited by their employers. 
  • The home country of the migrant workers that they are leaving may lose out on skilled professionals and talented individuals, which in a way affects the economy of the country. The individuals leave because of the limited resources and educational facilities and move to other countries where they gain knowledge and education and contribute to a better future. This is a loss for the home country and may influence it in the long run by decreasing the population. If it wants to hold on to its talent pool, it needs to invest in developing better facilities so people do not have to leave the country at all. 
  • Immigration creates a platform for growing crimes such as drug dealing, human trafficking, and other forms of criminal activities and corruption. 
  • Illegal immigration taking place in the countries actually affects the immigrants who have entered the country legally with all the valid documents. This is because of the generalized ill feelings about the entire subject of immigration by certain groups of people.
  • This topic of immigration can lead to tensions among people and hostility in the society and among certain communities of people if there is a prevailing impression that the asylums and refugees get more benefits than others. 
  • Immigration often becomes a subject of sociopolitical discussion which leads to bigger issues by instigating long-suppressed feelings related to race that again may create tension among the local population. 
Immigrant Friendly

Some of the Ways the Countries With the Highest Immigration Rates Can Accommodate the Migrants Better: 

The main challenge with most of the host countries admitting the immigrants is a proper and systematic unification of the people coming from outside, irrespective of whether they are refugees or economically stable outside immigrants planning to invest in the country. This then leads to difficulties in settling down, adjusting within the society, and other political or social hardships. This is the reason why immigration-related issues create so much controversy and debate across the world. 

In order for it to streamline the process, here are a few improvements that every country must initiate in order for a smooth inflow of foreign people coming and settling down and thereafter: 

Better Options for Migrants

  • Offering affordable educational opportunities: By making the educational facilities affordable, promoting language and skill-based training, it can be made open to more immigrants and their children. This will help them blend with the culture in a better way and give rise to more talents who can fill different positions at different levels, making way for a brighter future of the country. 
  • Allowing the migrants to find jobs easily: The labor market should be more flexible and be open with more job prospects for the migrants to fill in. Additionally, the job providing services should be improved in order to assist the new entrants of the country to be able to get hired. This way, the countries with the most immigrants can enhance their economy in order to support their residents better.
  • Assigning better ways to recognize the skills: Immigrants come with different skills, qualifications, and expertise and it is important for the system to improve ways in which they can recognize these skills better. Oftentimes, a qualification obtained in a foreign land is considered invalid, probably because of the lack of the ability to recognize it. Therefore, deploying easy and economic ways to identify/ recognize the skills and foreign qualifications can help the immigrants to settle in faster. 
  • Extending better support to the people wanting to start their own businesses: Often times entrepreneurs find it challenging to start their business in the host country due to several social and legal barriers. Many times the reasons for various rules or limitations are not explained properly. Removing the restrictions and extending training, legal counseling, and offering transparency can help them start their businesses. This in return will add to the overall economic output of the country. 


There is an increasing dearth in the labor market across the globe today, which is obviously a major obstacle when it comes to a country’s growing prosperity. Immigration, undoubtedly, is a key solution to a better economy and overall development of the nation. However, it is also a worldwide problem that every country needs to work on, starting with improving and restructuring their immigration systems and policies in order to help the migrants have a better life and provisions. As for the developing countries, they need to analyze the reasons why their citizens want to leave the place and move to a different country and work on those factors in order to prevent ‘brain drain’ in the future.

Furthermore, the inspections at the checkpoints in several countries need to be strengthened in order to prevent the birth of crimes or illegal operations in the countries with the highest immigration rates or any host country for that matter. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs:) 

Which country has proven to be the best destination for immigration? 

Some of the best countries that you can go and settle in are the United States, Switzerland, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia. There are several more that welcome immigrants including refugees. For more details go through the article above. 

Is it a problem when people immigrate from one country to another? 

This depends on individual opinions but there are both positives and negatives in an immigration situation. People migrate for several reasons- social, economic stability, safety, better life, escape from political persecutions, and more. While in most cases it is a benefit for the host country as the immigrants contribute to the country’s development in a big way, the home country sure needs to figure out ways to retain their citizens by improving their situations. 

What kind of challenges do migrating individuals face in the new country? 

The immigration policies of several countries need to be strengthened in order for them to integrate the foreigners coming to the country with hopes of a ‘better life’ to settle in properly. Some of the major issues that most of the immigrants face are- 

1. Difficulty in finding a home
2. Seeking employment quickly
3. The cultural diversity that makes it difficult for them to blend in
4. Societal issues
5. Even poverty, failing to get proper employment.

These factors are, however, subject to individual cases and do not apply to every person migrating to a new country.  

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