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Some 3% of the world’s population lives outside their home countries, World Bank reports

Around 3% of the world’s people live outside the country they were born in, the World Bank says.


The top migration destination country is the United States, followed by the Russian Federation, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Canada, the World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 also reveals.

The United Kingdom ranks sixth as a migrant destination of choice, with 7 million non-UK born residents.

Qatar has largest % expats

Qatar is the country with the largest percentage of expatriates, with 86 out of every 100 people having been born elsewhere. (See chart, below.) It is followed by Monaco, with 71.6% of its population foreign-born; the United Arab Emirates, with 70%; Kuwait with 68.8%; and Andorra with 64.4%.

The Cayman Islands is sixth on the list, with 63% foreign born, while the Isle of Man is tenth, with 54%, and the Channel Islands eleventh with 49.8%.

In terms of actual numbers, the US is now home to some 42.8 million immigrants, while Russia has 12.3 million and Germany 10.8 million. 

As for trends, the report says the volume of migration between developing countries is currently greater than that from developing to high-income countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. However, “high income non-OECD countries, such as the [Persian] Gulf countries, are also major destinations for  [developing-country] migrants”, the report notes.

The largest “migration corridor in the world”, though, is that between Mexico and the United States, which, available official data shows, accounted for 11.6 million migrants in 2010.

Migration corridors in the former Soviet Union, such as those between Russia and the Ukraine and the Ukraine and Russia, are the next largest, followed by Bangladesh and India.

‘Healthy recovery’ in remittance flows

A key finding of the World Bank report is that officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries are expected to have grown by 6% to $325bn in 2010. This would constitute a "healthy recovery" from the 5.5% decline posted last year.

Remittance flows "are expected to increase by 6.2% in 2011 and 8.1% in 2012, to reach $374bn by 2012," the World Bank said.

The Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 is available online at

Top Immigration Countries, 2010, by percent of population



1.  Qatar 86.5
2.  Monaco 71.6
3.  United Arab Emirates 70
4.  Kuwait 68.8
5.  Andorra 64.4
6.  Cayman Islands 63
7.  Northern Mariana Islands 62
8.  Virgin Islands (US) 56.5
9.  Macao SAR, China 54.7
10.  Isle of Man 54.6
11.  Channel Islands 49.8
12.  Jordan 45.9
13.  Guam 43.9
14.  West Bank and Gaza 43.6
15.  American Samoa 41.4
16.  Singapore 40.7
17.  Israel 40.4
18.  Bahrain 39.1
19.  Hong Kong SAR, China 38.8
20.  San Marino 37
21.  Brunei Darrssalam 36.4
22.  Mayotte 36
23.  Luxembourg 35.2
24.  Liechtenstein 34.6
25.  Aruba 31.9
26.  Bermuda 30.7
27.  Oman 28.4
28.  Palau 28.1
29.  Saudi Arabia 27.8
30.  Netherlands Antilles 26.4
Sources: Development Prospects Group, World Bank; UNPD 2009

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