Statistics

April 29, 2022

Reading Time: 3 min

The most popular countries for immigration in 2022

281 million people, or 3,5% of the world’s population are recognized as immigrants in 2020. The UN considers immigrants those who have changed their country of residence and stay there for one year or longer — employees of international companies, students, people who have moved for family reasons, investors.

Our World in Data map shows how immigration processes have changed over the past 30 years: which countries foreigners have become more likely to choose for life, and in which immigration has decreased.

Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

The most popular countries for immigration in 2022

The most popular countries for immigration in 2022

Foreigners often move to countries with a high standard of living, a stable political and economic situation. In Europe and North America, the number of immigrants has grown by 88% over the past 30 years, according to UN statistics for 2020. In numerical terms, 87 million immigrants now live in Europe, and 59 million in North America.

The United States has the largest number of immigrants in numerical terms — 50.6 million people, that is, every sixth inhabitant.

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Map of immigration in 2020

In the UAE, the proportion of immigrants is 88% of the total population of the country — this is the highest figure in the world. The UAE is followed by Qatar, Kuwait, Liechtenstein and Monaco. The share of immigrants in these countries exceeds 65% of the population.

Foreigners have moved to Liechtenstein, Oman and Malta more frequently over the past 30 years. The proportion of immigrants in Liechtenstein has risen from 38% to 68% since 1990, and in Malta from 4% to 22%.

In Cuba, China and Vietnam, the share of immigrants does not exceed 1% of the population.

Countries with the highest share of immigrants

Country

1990

2020

ae-flag UAE

71.5%

88.1%

qa-flag Qatar

65.0%

77.3%

kw-flag Kuwait

51.3%

72.8%

li-flag Liechtenstein

37.9%

67.8%

mc-flag Monaco

69.2%

67.8%

ad-flag Andorra

71.4%

58.9%

bh-flag Bahrain

34.9%

55.0%

lu-flag Luxembourg

29.8%

47.6%

om-flag Oman

16.8%

46.5%

sg-flag Singapore

24.1%

43.1%

Source: Our World in Data

How an investor can become a cosmopolitan

Thousands of foreigners annually receive residence permits and citizenship by investment. To do this, they become participants in government investment programs, for example, in Europe and the Caribbean. Only under the residence permit program in Portugal over the past 10 years, 28,000 people have received a residence permit.

A residence permit and a second passport can be obtained for the purchase of real estate, shares, a contribution to a state fund or starting a business. The cost of participation in the programs is from $100,000.

Investors with a second citizenship or residence permit get the opportunity to travel without visas, educate children in foreign universities and optimize taxation. Some investors enjoy the benefits that the new status gives them, but do not change their country of residence, others move and become immigrants. In the latter case, the UN will take them into account in the study.

Countries with investment programs with the most immigrants

Country

Share of immigrants in 2020

Minimum investment

59%

€400,000

30%

$100,000

28%

₣450 000 per year

26%

€150,000

19,3%

€100,000

15,8%

€300 000

14,6%

€500 000

14,5%

$150 000

12,9%

€250 000

11,5%

$100 000

11,3%

$472 000

9,83%

€250 000

7,18%

$400 000

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent that helps to obtain a residence permit and citizenship by investment. If you want to become a resident of a European country or get a Caribbean passport, please contact investment program experts for advice.