10 Countries That Take the Most Migrants

10 Countries That Take the Most Migrants

10 Countries That Take the Most Migrants

The majority of those traveling abroad are doing so with the hope of becoming permanent residents. Of course, all of us want to live in a developed country that guarantees our security and social benefits, a country with a favorable tax program. We also love to relocate to a country where migration regulations are simple and reliable. A vast number of rich countries are keen to welcome immigrants.

If you have a few million dollars or highly sought-after expertise, you may migrate to almost any country except Turkmenistan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Now, let us see the 10 Countries that take the most migrants.

10. Switzerland

In 2014, Switzerland welcomed 131,200 permanent immigrants. As of December 31, 2016, approximately 2 million foreigners have moved permanently to Switzerland. This is about a quarter of the country’s total population. Immigrants from nations in the European Union or the European Free Trade Association make up about 70% of them while Germans and Italians constitute the biggest groupings.

However, the number of asylum applications in 2016 which was 27,200 was 31% was lower than that of the previous year. This was due to the closure of the Balkan land routes hitherto being used by thousands of people escaping politically unstable countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. In recent years, just a little more than half of those applying for asylum or provisional entry is successful and most of them are Eritreans, Afghans, and Syrians.


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9. The Netherlands

Since 2015, the Dutch government has been welcoming permanent immigrants. That year, the country received a total of 146,800 of them, mostly from Poland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, and Spain.

The number of asylum applications increased considerably between 2014 and 2015—from 24,500 to 45,000. In 2015, the number of asylum petitions from unaccompanied youngsters more than doubled, reaching 3,900. In 2016, about 48% of asylum-seekers, which numbered 9,000, came from Syria. The rest came from Eritrea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran.

During the 2017 election, the then Dutch Prime Minister Geert Wilders was roundly defeated by Mark Rutte, no thanks to his anti-immigration and anti-Islam stance. Still, in June that year, a Dutch court ruled that the government can’t be legally compelled to take in more migrants, as dictated by the 2015 EU agreement.

8. Italy

With the acceptance of 160,900 permanent immigrants in 2015, the number of foreign nationals living in Italy reached 5 million. A third of these were born in the EU. Meanwhile, the majority of non-EU nationals in the country hail from Romania, Albania, Morocco, China, and the UK. Besides family reunion, humanitarian protection accounted for the largest percentage of new permits issued, making 28 percent of all new permits issued.

Italy is under tremendous strain as a result of the influx of immigrants rescued from the Mediterranean. In 2016, over 120,000 asylum petitions were submitted, representing a 47% increase over the previous year’s. About 38% of those who applied were granted refugees status while the rest were awarded subsidiary or humanitarian protection.

7. Spain

The year 2015 saw a total of 194,900 permanent immigrants allowed into Spain. That year, the country experienced its first year of positive net migration since the beginning of the global financial crisis. While immigration increased by 10%, emigration decreased by 20%. Despite this, the number of Spaniards who left the country in 2015 exceeded 99,000. Ten percent of the 290,000 foreign nationals who entered Spain in 2015 as permanent residents and 100,000 as passersby were Romanian while nearly eight percent were Moroccan.

International protection applications hit a record high of 14,800 in 2015 and the figure rose to 16,500 in 2016. For the purpose of dealing with the inflow, the government has improved its asylum and reception system by boosting funds and infrastructure, as well as changing its system for dealing with unaccompanied foreign kids.

6. Australia

During the year 2018, 226,200 permanent immigrants were received by Australia. Permanent migration grew just modestly during the country’s 2018 to 2019 immigration program. According to the International Organization for Migration, this is a direct result of a 28% rise in the country’s humanitarian intake. For the sixth year in a row, the majority of immigrants came from India, followed by China and the United Kingdom.

According to Australia’s Humanitarian Program, the country awarded 17,555 visas between 2018 and 2019, mostly to asylum seekers and refugees from countries such as Iraq, Syria, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). More than 15,500 of these visas were given via Australia’s controversial offshore resettlement program, which involves collaborating with governments of small islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

  1. France

In 2017, France welcomed 256,500 new permanent residents. Non-EU nationals in the country were awarded a total of 217,500 additional residence cards. A third of the participants were from North Africa, while more than a fifth were from Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the fact that only 20,500 new residence permits were given for work-related reasons in 2018, labor migration grew by 8%.

In 2017, France received around 75,000 asylum applications, representing a nearly 26% increase over the previous year’s. In 2018, the trend continued, with 78,000 hopefuls submitting their applications. Sudan, Afghanistan, and Haiti were the countries that submitted the most applications. In 2018, France approved only 29% of the 70,000 applications it evaluated, compared to the EU’s acceptance rate of 62%.

4. Canada

In 2018, Canada welcomed 271,800 permanent immigrants and that was the highest number of foreigners allowed in any year since 2010. More than 170,000 people were permitted into the country under the economic category, which included skilled professionals and childcare providers.

The rise in permanent migration in 2016 was majorly due to the increase in the number of refugees. The 58,000 admissions produce a 20,000 increase over that of the previous year’s. Between November 2016 and January 2017, Canada accepted more than 40,000 Syrian refugees. The surge has placed a strain on government resources. However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had stated that refugees would continue to be welcomed in Canada.

3. The United Kingdom

In 2016, 30,600 persons applied for refuge in the United Kingdom, marking the first year in which asylum applications decreased since 2010. While there was an increase in net migration, the settlement grants issued in 2015 were 12.7% less than those issued in 2014. The figure decreased even further in 2016, falling to 59,000 awards mostly owing to a decrease in work-related, family-related, and asylum-related grants.

In 2018, the United Kingdom welcomed 378,800 permanent immigrants, setting a new record for net migration in the country. Those that left the country that year were far less than those that entered. The majority of the immigrants were from EU nations, and especially from Bulgaria. For the first time according to official figures, Romanians accounted for 10% of the country’s foreign-born population. 

2. Germany

In 2015, Germany welcomed 686,000 permanent immigrants. Some 82,400 of them came to reunite with their families. The majority of these immigrants were from Syria, Turkey, and Russia, representing a 30% increase over 2014. Net migration in Germany nearly doubled in 2015, partly due to the volume of asylum seekers. It, however, fell significantly the following year.

In 2016, there were 722,000 first-time asylum petitions, up from 442,000 in 2015, with most applicants hailing from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, according to the Department of Homeland Security. This accounts for around 44% of all asylum applications in the 35 member nations of the OECD. According to the 2016 statistics, almost 59% of the 696,000 petitions that were reviewed qualified the applicants for either refugee status or subsidiary protection. As its native population ages, Germany has attempted to make it easier for asylum seekers to join the labor force. The country now boasts the lowest unemployment rate since reunification in 1990.

1. The United States

In 2015, the United States received 1,051,000 permanent immigrants, maintaining its position as the world’s leading source of immigration. Those entering the country illegally are not included in this figure. The overall number of foreign-born people in the United States increased to 13.3% of the total population as a result of these additional arrivals.

As the leading refugee resettlement country, the United States receives a disproportionate number of refugees from Myanmar, Iraq, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Bhutan. Recent months have seen the implementation of several executive orders affecting immigration policy. These include orders aimed at improving border security and immigration law enforcement, as well as orders aimed at increasing the number of people who are eligible to apply for asylum in the United States.


Numerous other populous nations that have taken in a large number of refugees have made significant contributions to the well-being of immigrants. The 10 countries we discussed here are those that have taken in the most refugees per capita. If you feel that we have missed any country, feel free to mention it in the comments below.

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