Immigration by Country, as a Percentage of the Population
Connect with us

Maps

Mapped: Immigration by Country, as a Percentage of the Population

Published

on

Immigration by Country, as a Percentage of the Population

Many people move countries for work, study, or family. However, they may also be displaced by climate change, conflict, or economic instability.

There were 272 million immigrants in 2020, amounting to 3.5% of the global population. Where do they end up?

This interactive map from Our World in Data highlights immigration by country, as a percentage of the total population, using data from the United Nations (UN) Populations Division.

What Is an Immigrant?

The UN defines an immigrant as someone who has been living in a country other than their country of birth for one year or longer. In addition to new citizens or residents, a variety of people fit under this definition:

  • Foreign workers
  • International students
  • Refugees

The UN also includes estimates of unauthorized immigrants living in various countries. On the flip side, tourists, temporary workers, and overseas military personnel are typically not included.

Immigration by Country Over Time

With this definition in mind, here’s a breakdown of immigration by country as a percentage of the nation’s population.

Country19902020Absolute ChangeRelative Change
Afghanistan0.47%0.37%-0.10 p.p.-20%
Albania2.01%1.70%-0.31 p.p.-16%
Algeria1.06%0.57%-0.49 p.p.-46%
American Samoa45.18%30.35%²-14.83 p.p.-33%
Andorra71.35%58.98%-12.37 p.p.-17%
Angola0.28%2.00%1.71 p.p.606%
Anguilla30.59%33.24%²2.66 p.p.9%
Antigua and Barbuda19.24%30.01%10.77 p.p.56%
Argentina5.06%5.05%>-0.01 p.p.>-1%
Armenia18.62%6.42%-12.20 p.p.-65%
Aruba22.84%34.52%²11.67 p.p.51%
Australia23.32%30.14%6.82 p.p.29%
Austria10.27%19.30%9.03 p.p.88%
Azerbaijan4.98%2.49%-2.49 p.p.-50%
Bahamas10.48%16.17%5.69 p.p.54%
Bahrain34.93%55.01%20.09 p.p.58%
Bangladesh0.85%1.28%0.43 p.p.50%
Barbados9.21%12.13%2.93 p.p.32%
Belarus12.30%11.29%-1.01 p.p.-8%
Belgium12.80%17.30%4.51 p.p.35%
Belize16.21%15.60%-0.61 p.p.-4%
Benin1.54%3.25%1.71 p.p.111%
Bhutan4.49%6.95%2.46 p.p.55%
Bolivia1.07%1.41%0.33 p.p.31%
Bosnia and Herzegovina1.25%1.10%-0.16 p.p.-12%
Botswana2.14%4.69%2.55 p.p.119%
Brazil0.54%0.51%-0.03 p.p.-5%
Brunei28.29%25.59%-2.70 p.p.-10%
Bulgaria0.24%2.65%2.41 p.p.992%
Burkina Faso3.97%3.46%-0.50 p.p.-13%
Burundi6.13%2.90%-3.23 p.p.-53%
Cambodia0.43%0.47%0.05 p.p.11%
Cameroon2.26%2.18%-0.08 p.p.-3%
Canada15.73%21.33%5.59 p.p.36%
Cape Verde2.64%2.84%0.20 p.p.7%
Central African Republic2.40%1.83%-0.56 p.p.-23%
Chad1.25%3.33%2.09 p.p.167%
Chile0.81%8.61%7.79 p.p.962%
China0.03%0.07%0.04 p.p.125%
Colombia0.32%3.75%3.43 p.p.1089%
Comoros3.42%1.44%-1.98 p.p.-58%
Congo5.49%7.02%1.53 p.p.28%
Costa Rica13.39%10.22%-3.17 p.p.-24%
Cote d'Ivoire15.23%9.72%-5.51 p.p.-36%
Croatia9.95%12.86%2.91 p.p.29%
Cuba0.33%0.03%-0.30 p.p.-92%
Cyprus5.71%15.77%10.05 p.p.176%
Czechia1.07%5.05%3.98 p.p.373%
Democratic Republic of Congo2.18%1.06%-1.11 p.p.-51%
Denmark4.58%12.39%7.81 p.p.171%
Djibouti20.70%12.12%-8.58 p.p.-41%
Dominica3.58%11.51%7.93 p.p.222%
Dominican Republic4.08%5.57%1.48 p.p.36%
Ecuador0.77%4.45%3.68 p.p.478%
Egypt0.31%0.53%0.22 p.p.72%
El Salvador0.90%0.66%-0.24 p.p.-27%
Equatorial Guinea0.65%16.44%15.78 p.p.2413%
Eritrea0.53%0.39%-0.13 p.p.-25%
Estonia24.41%15.02%-9.38 p.p.-38%
Eswatini9.12%2.83%-6.29 p.p.-69%
Ethiopia2.41%0.94%-1.47 p.p.-61%
Faeroe Islands9.01%10.96%²1.95 p.p.22%
Falkland Islands42.69%50.53%²7.84 p.p.18%
Fiji1.82%1.57%-0.25 p.p.-14%
Finland1.27%6.97%5.70 p.p.450%
France10.41%13.06%2.65 p.p.25%
French Guiana54.35%41.09%²-13.26 p.p.-24%
Gabon13.50%18.72%5.22 p.p.39%
Gambia12.36%8.92%-3.44 p.p.-28%
Georgia5.63%1.99%-3.64 p.p.-65%
Germany7.51%18.81%11.30 p.p.151%
Ghana1.12%1.53%0.42 p.p.37%
Greece6.04%12.86%6.81 p.p.113%
Greenland16.71%10.52%²-6.19 p.p.-37%
Grenada4.43%6.41%1.98 p.p.45%
Guadeloupe18.72%21.13%²2.41 p.p.13%
Guatemala2.85%0.47%-2.38 p.p.-83%
Guinea6.35%0.93%-5.43 p.p.-85%
Guinea-Bissau1.58%0.91%-0.66 p.p.-42%
Guyana0.55%3.96%3.41 p.p.619%
Haiti0.27%0.17%-0.11 p.p.-39%
Honduras5.46%0.40%-5.06 p.p.-93%
Hong Kong38.73%39.52%0.78 p.p.2%
Hungary3.35%6.05%2.70 p.p.81%
Iceland3.76%19.17%15.41 p.p.410%
India0.87%0.35%-0.52 p.p.-59%
Indonesia0.26%0.13%-0.13 p.p.-49%
Iran7.61%3.33%-4.28 p.p.-56%
Iraq0.48%0.91%0.43 p.p.89%
Ireland6.49%17.64%11.15 p.p.172%
Israel36.70%22.57%-14.13 p.p.-39%
Italy2.50%10.56%8.06 p.p.322%
Jamaica0.85%0.80%-0.05 p.p.-6%
Japan0.86%2.19%1.33 p.p.154%
Jordan32.15%33.89%1.74 p.p.5%
Kazakhstan22.09%19.88%-2.21 p.p.-10%
Kenya1.26%1.95%0.70 p.p.55%
Kiribati2.99%2.62%-0.37 p.p.-12%
Kuwait51.27%72.83%21.55 p.p.42%
Kyrgyzstan14.25%3.05%-11.20 p.p.-79%
Laos0.54%0.67%0.13 p.p.25%
Latvia24.25%12.69%-11.55 p.p.-48%
Lebanon18.68%25.09%6.41 p.p.34%
Lesotho0.48%0.56%0.08 p.p.16%
Liberia4.58%1.74%-2.84 p.p.-62%
Libya10.30%12.03%1.73 p.p.17%
Liechtenstein37.88%67.85%29.97 p.p.79%
Lithuania9.45%5.33%-4.12 p.p.-44%
Luxembourg29.81%47.62%17.81 p.p.60%
Madagascar0.21%0.13%-0.08 p.p.-38%
Malawi11.99%1.00%-10.99 p.p.-92%
Malaysia3.86%10.74%6.88 p.p.178%
Maldives3.89%12.96%9.07 p.p.233%
Mali1.90%2.40%0.50 p.p.26%
Malta4.17%25.99%21.83 p.p.524%
Marshall Islands2.45%5.57%3.12 p.p.127%
Martinique10.77%16.75%²5.98 p.p.55%
Mauritania5.49%3.92%-1.57 p.p.-29%
Mauritius0.34%2.27%1.93 p.p.564%
Mexico0.83%0.93%0.10 p.p.12%
Moldova12.46%2.59%-9.88 p.p.-79%
Monaco69.17%67.78%-1.39 p.p.-2%
Mongolia0.31%0.65%0.34 p.p.111%
Montenegro12.58%¹11.30%-1.27 p.p.-10%
Montserrat18.76%21.79%²3.03 p.p.16%
Morocco0.22%0.28%0.06 p.p.25%
Mozambique0.94%1.08%0.14 p.p.15%
Myanmar0.32%0.14%-0.18 p.p.-56%
Namibia8.42%4.30%-4.11 p.p.-49%
Nauru29.61%20.32%-9.30 p.p.-31%
Nepal2.27%1.67%-0.60 p.p.-26%
Netherlands7.90%13.76%5.86 p.p.74%
New Caledonia22.20%25.45%²3.25 p.p.15%
New Zealand15.24%28.65%13.41 p.p.88%
Nicaragua0.99%0.64%-0.35 p.p.-36%
Niger1.44%1.44%>-0.01 p.p.>-1%
Nigeria0.48%0.64%0.16 p.p.32%
North Korea0.17%0.19%0.02 p.p.14%
North Macedonia4.77%6.30%1.54 p.p.32%
Norway4.53%15.72%11.19 p.p.247%
Oman16.78%46.47%29.69 p.p.177%
Pakistan5.77%1.48%-4.28 p.p.-74%
Palau18.59%28.12%9.53 p.p.51%
Palestine13.72%5.35%-8.37 p.p.-61%
Panama2.54%7.26%4.72 p.p.186%
Papua New Guinea0.73%0.35%-0.38 p.p.-52%
Paraguay4.64%2.38%-2.26 p.p.-49%
Peru0.26%3.71%3.46 p.p.1345%
Philip.p.ines0.25%0.21%-0.04 p.p.-17%
Poland2.97%2.16%-0.81 p.p.-27%
Portugal4.40%9.83%5.42 p.p.123%
Puerto Rico9.12%7.59%²-1.53 p.p.-17%
Qatar65.04%77.27%12.23 p.p.19%
Reunion9.47%14.39%²4.91 p.p.52%
Romania0.58%3.67%3.09 p.p.534%
Russia7.81%7.97%0.16 p.p.2%
Rwanda2.19%3.97%1.77 p.p.81%
Saint Kitts and Nevis7.97%14.52%6.55 p.p.82%
Saint Lucia3.84%4.54%0.70 p.p.18%
Saint Pierre and Miquelon19.69%19.14%²-0.55 p.p.-3%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines3.69%4.27%0.58 p.p.16%
Samoa2.06%2.03%-0.03 p.p.-2%
San Marino13.72%16.33%2.61 p.p.19%
Sao Tome and Principe4.68%0.98%-3.71 p.p.-79%
Saudi Arabia30.79%38.65%7.86 p.p.26%
Senegal3.59%1.64%-1.95 p.p.-54%
Serbia1.04%9.42%8.38 p.p.803%
Seychelles5.27%13.27%8.00 p.p.152%
Sierra Leone5.14%0.67%-4.47 p.p.-87%
Singapore24.14%43.14%19.00 p.p.79%
Slovakia0.78%3.61%2.83 p.p.362%
Slovenia8.88%13.37%4.50 p.p.51%
Solomon Islands1.35%0.37%-0.99 p.p.-73%
Somalia6.62%0.37%-6.25 p.p.-94%
South Africa3.16%4.82%1.66 p.p.52%
South Korea0.10%3.37%3.27 p.p.3238%
South Sudan2.43%¹7.88%5.46 p.p.225%
Spain2.10%14.63%12.54 p.p.598%
Sri Lanka0.24%0.19%-0.05 p.p.-22%
Sudan6.96%3.15%-3.82 p.p.-55%
Suriname4.46%8.15%3.68 p.p.83%
Sweden9.21%19.84%10.63 p.p.116%
Switzerland20.93%28.79%7.86 p.p.38%
Syria5.74%4.96%-0.77 p.p.-13%
Tajikistan8.12%2.89%-5.22 p.p.-64%
Tanzania2.28%0.71%-1.56 p.p.-69%
Thailand0.94%5.20%4.27 p.p.457%
Togo2.25%3.38%1.13 p.p.50%
Tonga3.06%3.54%0.48 p.p.16%
Trinidad and Tobago4.15%5.63%1.49 p.p.36%
Tunisia0.46%0.51%0.05 p.p.10%
Turkey2.16%7.18%5.02 p.p.233%
Turkmenistan8.32%3.23%-5.09 p.p.-61%
Tuvalu3.57%2.03%-1.54 p.p.-43%
Uganda3.14%3.76%0.63 p.p.20%
Ukraine13.39%11.43%-1.97 p.p.-15%
United Arab Emirates71.46%88.13%16.67 p.p.23%
United Kingdom6.39%13.79%7.40 p.p.116%
United States9.22%15.30%6.08 p.p.66%
Uruguay3.15%3.12%-0.04 p.p.-1%
Uzbekistan8.10%3.47%-4.63 p.p.-57%
Vanuatu1.57%1.06%-0.51 p.p.-33%
Venezuela5.22%4.66%-0.56 p.p.-11%
Vietnam0.04%0.08%0.04 p.p.93%
Western Sahara0.97%0.83%²-0.14 p.p.-15%
World2.87%3.60%0.73 p.p.25%
Yemen1.01%1.30%0.28 p.p.28%
Zambia3.48%1.02%-2.46 p.p.-71%
Zimbabwe6.08%2.80%-3.28 p.p.-54%


¹Data as of 2010 due to data availability
²Data as of 2015 due to data availability

Higher immigration levels are generally correlated with higher standards of living and advanced economies. For instance, North America, Europe, and Oceania all have a relatively high proportion of immigrants.

The United States is home to the largest number of immigrants—over 50 million—which now make up 15% of the country’s population. Since 1990, the proportion of immigrants in the country has continued to rise. As with most advanced economies, immigration has helped to counter a decline in fertility rates.

Over the last 30 years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has had the highest immigration by country, with 88% of its population being defined as immigrants in 2020. The country has the highest GDP per capita of any of its neighboring countries, and draws many migrant workers.

Meanwhile, South Korea has seen the largest relative increase in immigrants over the last three decades. Faced with the lowest fertility rate in the world and an aging population, the country has enacted policy reforms to encourage immigration, including a formal guest worker program and local voting rights for permanent foreign residents.

Integration or Separation?

Immigrants can help fill labor gaps and drive economic innovation in their new country of residence. Depending on their destination, they may benefit from things like higher pay, access to better education, and a more stable political climate.

Notably, countries respond to immigration in different ways. In one study measuring what governments are doing to integrate migrants, Sweden ranked at the top. The country offers non-EU citizens equal access to education, labor market rights and its social safety net, and it also has strong anti-discrimination laws.

On the flip side, immigrants may face challenges integrating into other countries. For instance, the UAE’s kafala (sponsorship) system is structured so that employment visas are granted by local individuals or companies rather than the state. This gives employers enhanced power over their workers, and in the past it has resulted in alleged human rights abuses.

green check mark icon

This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

Subscribe to Visual Capitalist
Click for Comments

Water

Mapped: Countries With the Highest Flood Risk

Recent floods in Pakistan have affected more than 33 million people. Where is the risk of flooding highest around the world?

Published

on

Risk of Flooding Mapped Around the World

This was originally posted on Elements. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on natural resource megatrends in your email every week.

Devastating floods across Pakistan this summer have resulted in more than 1,400 lives lost and one-third of the country being under water.

This raises the question: which nations and their populations are the most vulnerable to the risk of flooding around the world?

Using data from a recent study published in Nature, this graphic maps flood risk around the world, highlighting the 1.81 billion people directly exposed to 1-in-100 year floods. The methodology takes into account potential risks from both inland and coastal flooding.

Asian Countries Most at Risk from Rising Water Levels

Not surprisingly, countries with considerable coastlines, river systems, and flatlands find themselves with high percentages of their population at risk.

The Netherlands and Bangladesh are the only two nations in the world to have more than half of their population at risk due to flooding, at 59% and 58%, respectively. Vietnam (46%), Egypt (41%), and Myanmar (40%) round out the rest of the top five nations.

Besides the Netherlands, only two other European nations are in the top 20 nations by percentage of population at risk, Austria (18th at 29%) and Albania (20th at 28%).

RankCountryFlood risk, by population exposed (%)Total population exposed
#1🇳🇱 Netherlands58.7%10,100,000
#2🇧🇩 Bangladesh57.5%94,424,000
#3🇻🇳 Vietnam46.0%45,504,000
#4🇪🇬 Egypt40.5%38,871,000
#5🇲🇲 Myanmar39.9%19,104,000
#6🇱🇦 Laos39.7%2,985,000
#7🇰🇭 Cambodia38.1%7,431,000
#8🇬🇾 Guyana37.9%276,000
#9🇸🇷 Suriname37.7%233,000
#10🇮🇶 Iraq36.8%16,350,000
#11🇹🇭 Thailand33.9%25,431,000
#12🇸🇸 South Sudan32.5%5,437,000
#13🇵🇰 Pakistan31.1%71,786,000
#14🇳🇵 Nepal29.4%11,993,000
#15🇨🇬 Republic of the Congo29.3%1,170,000
#16🇵🇭 Philippines29.0%30,483,000
#17🇯🇵 Japan28.7%36,060,000
#18🇦🇹 Austria27.8%2,437,000
#19🇮🇳 India27.7%389,816,000
#20🇦🇱 Albania27.6%771,000
#21🇨🇳 China27.5%394,826,000
#22🇹🇩 Chad27.4%4,547,000
#23🇮🇩 Indonesia27.0%75,696,000
#24🇭🇷 Croatia26.9%1,094,000
#25🇸🇰 Slovakia26.7%1,401,000

The Southeast Asia region alone makes up more than two-thirds of the global population exposed to flooding risk at 1.24 billion people.

China and India account for 395 million and 390 million people, respectively, with both nations at the top in terms of the absolute number of people at risk of rising water levels. The rest of the top five countries by total population at risk are Bangladesh (94 million people at risk), Indonesia (76 million people at risk), and Pakistan (72 million people at risk).

How Flooding is Already Affecting Countries Like Pakistan

While forecasted climate and natural disasters can often take years to manifest, flooding affected more than 100 million people in 2021. Recent summer floods in Pakistan have continued the trend in 2022.

With 31% of its population (72 million people) at risk of flooding, Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to floods.

In 2010, floods in Pakistan were estimated to have affected more than 18 million people. The recent floods, which started in June, are estimated to have affected more than 33 million people as more than one-third of the country is submerged underwater.

The Cost of Floods Today and in the Future

Although the rising human toll is by far the biggest concern that floods present, they also bring with them massive economic costs. Last year, droughts, floods, and storms caused economic losses totaling $224.2 billion worldwide, nearly doubling the 2001-2020 annual average of $117.8 billion.

A recent report forecasted that water risk (caused by droughts, floods, and storms) could eat up $5.6 trillion of global GDP by 2050, with floods projected to account for 36% of these direct losses.

As both human and economic losses caused by floods continue to mount, nations around the world will need to focus on preventative infrastructure and restorative solutions for ecosystems and communities already affected and most at risk of flooding.

Continue Reading

Demographics

Ranked: The 20 Countries With the Fastest Declining Populations

Population decline is a rising issue for many countries in Eastern Europe, as well as outliers like Japan and Cuba.

Published

on

Visualizing Population Decline by Country

Since the mid-1900s, the global population has followed a steep upwards trajectory.

While much of this growth has been concentrated in China and India, researchers expect the next wave of growth to occur in Africa. As of 2019, for example, the average woman in Niger is having over six children in her lifetime.

At the opposite end of this spectrum are a number of countries that appear to be shrinking from a population perspective. To shed some light on this somewhat surprising trend, we’ve visualized the top 20 countries by population decline.

The Top 20

The following table ranks countries by their rate of population decline, based on projected rate of change between 2020 and 2050 and using data from the United Nations.

RankCountryDecline 2020-2050
1🇧🇬 Bulgaria22.5%
2🇱🇹 Lithuania22.1%
3🇱🇻 Latvia21.6%
4🇺🇦 Ukraine19.5%
5🇷🇸 Serbia18.9%
6🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina18.2%
7🇭🇷 Croatia18.0%
8🇲🇩 Moldova16.7%
9🇯🇵 Japan16.3%
10🇦🇱 Albania15.8%
11🇷🇴 Romania15.5%
12🇬🇷 Greece13.4%
13🇪🇪 Estonia12.7%
14🇭🇺 Hungary12.3%
15🇵🇱 Poland12.0%
16🇬🇪 Georgia11.8%
17🇵🇹 Portugal10.9%
18🇲🇰 North Macedonia10.9%
19🇨🇺 Cuba10.3%
20🇮🇹 Italy10.1%

Many of these countries are located in or near Eastern Europe, for reasons we’ll discuss below.

The first issue is birth rates, which according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), have fallen since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Across the region, the average number of children per woman fell from 2.1 in 1988 to 1.2 by 1998.

Birth rates have recovered slightly since then, but are not enough to offset deaths and emigration, which refers to citizens leaving their country to live elsewhere.

Eastern Europe saw several waves of emigration following the European Union’s (EU) border expansions in 2004 and 2007. The PIIE reports that by 2016, 6.3 million Eastern Europeans resided in other EU states.

The Outliers

There are two geographical outliers in this dataset which sit on either side of Europe.

Japan

The first is Japan, where birth rates have fallen continuously since 1970. It wasn’t until 2010, however, that the country’s overall population began to shrink.

By the numbers, the situation appears dire. In 2021, 811,604 babies were born in Japan, while 1.44 million people died. As a result of its low birth rates, the island nation also has the world’s highest average age at 49 years old.

The Japanese government has introduced various social programs to make having kids more appealing, but these don’t appear to be getting to the root of the problem. For deeper insight into Japan’s low birthrates, it’s worth reading this article by The Atlantic.

Cuba

The second country is Cuba, and it’s the only one not located within the Eastern Hemisphere. Cuba’s fertility rate of 1.7 children per woman is the lowest in the Latin American region. It can be compared to countries like Mexico (2.2), Paraguay (2.5), and Guatemala (3.0).

Cuba’s immigration is also incredibly low compared to its neighboring countries. According to the International Organization for Migration, immigrants account for just 0.1% of its total population.

Continue Reading

Subscribe

Popular