Immigration around the world

Mapping the immigration population worldwide

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We are back this week after a brief pause and are trying something new.

Instead of focusing on a particular tech company, we are charting (in fact mapping) a macro topic of significance – Immigration.


Whatever your viewpoint on immigration – its hard to disagree that it has a significant impact on a country’s economy and politics.

When done right, the immigrant workforce can contribute significantly to a country’s economic growth.

Immigrants are also a vital source of income for their home countries (in the form of money sent home) – e.g. In 2020, $702 billion dollars were sent by immigrants worldwide to their country of birth (LINK)

According to latest data, ~280 million people or roughly 3.5% of the world’s population live as immigrants. This has increased by 61% since 2000, when roughly 174 million people lived as immigrants. (LINK)

Unsurprisingly, as seen below, richer countries tend to have higher proportion of immigrants.

United States, often termed as the land of immigrants, has the highest number of foreign born population – at 50.1 million. In one of my previous posts (LINK), I showed that many of these immigrants work in highly paid STEM occupations.

The Top 10 countries by number of immigrant population is shown below.

UAE has the highest proportion of immigrant population of all countries (Other Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar also tend to have high proportion of immigrant population). Within Europe, Germany has the highest number of immigrations.

In terms of immigrant population’s country of birth – the data is less accurate – but latest estimates from UN show that India and Mexico contribute the most to immigrant population (top 10 shown below)

As the political landscape become further polarized in the coming years, it will be interesting to see the impact it has on immigration trends.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! 👋

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