With 244 million immigrants in the world, which country has the most?
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.
Defining the 25% foreign population in Switzerland
For the first time, Switzerland has 2 million foreigners living in its midst. As of last year, these non-Swiss – often the subject of political debate – accounted for nearly a quarter of the nation’s 8.3 million population. But just who exactly are they?
Switzerland has one of the highest proportions of foreigners in its midst among all nations: 24.6% in 2015. Only a few special cases, such as oil-producing nations that employ many foreigners, or city-states like Luxembourg, have even higher percentages than Switzerland.
More than 80% of the foreigners living in Switzerland are from European countries. Almost half of them come just from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal.
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