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Old 10.10.2009, 13:58
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List of countries by immigrant population

Given the topic comes up so often in our ramblings around here, most recently with that Bundesbank rant, here is a nice table listing sizes of immigrant populations around the world. Of course people's definition of immigrant (nth generation) may vary, but you can look to the source for the one used.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ant_population

Very interesting to see that CH has a very high percentage of immigrants, 22.89%, shocking to me that it was higher than my Canada. And note, in regards to the thread mentioned above, Germany has the 3rd largest absolute population of immigrants in the world.

The table is by default sorted by absolute populations. But you can click and sort by % and % of world.
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:14
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

I was relieved to see that 100% of the population of Vatican City are immigrants...
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:23
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

I was wondering, what is technically an immigrant? After 20 years in a foreign country, are you still an immigrant?
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:27
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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I was wondering, what is technically an immigrant? After 20 years in a foreign country, are you still an immigrant?
In most countries, it simply means a resident of the country who is not a naturalised citizen.

EDIT: Except that's bollocks. Please see HashBrown's explanation below...
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:29
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

It is true. I am technically an immigrant to Canada, but in practice, hardly so. You could not distinguish me from a native-born. However, according to that German banker, 3rd generation Turkish Germans are still immigrants. But that would be a whole different stat. But in most regards, the simple stat is fairly informative.
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:30
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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Very interesting to see that CH has a very high percentage of immigrants, 22.89%, shocking to me that it was higher than my Canada.
An interesting set of figures. As with most statistics they can be manipulated to suit.

I guess that the reason that Switzerland's immigrant population doesn't seem as high as the figures would suggest is that most immigrants are from similar cultural backgrounds in a country that already has its own mixed origins.

Various factors will affect our perceptions of immigrant populations: language spoken, skin colour, whether groups are dispersed across the population or concentrated in certain areas.

The UK has under 10% immigrant population overall. In some areas that increases to around 50%.

Don't forget that most of the EF members are immigrants in Switzerland, whether that be temporary or permanant.
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:32
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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In most countries, it simply means a resident of the country who is not a naturalised citizen.
I would disagree. I think is it basically were you born elsewhere and immigrated into the country. I am still an in immigrant to Canada, even though a fully integrated citizen. The fact that the latter is normal is one of Canada's strong points.
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:34
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration

gives a starting point for further stats.

Canada, for example has the highest per capita immigration in the world. I know for sure that >50% of Toronto and Vancouver are immigrants (born outside of Canada).
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:35
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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I would disagree. I think is it basically were you born elsewhere and immigrated into the country.
Looking at the British percentage, I think you must be right.

Thank you for the correction.
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:39
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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I think you must be right.

Thank you for the correction.
Savouring the moment.
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:43
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

I think that the definition of immigrant changes to suit people's own beliefs. (Or is that racism?)

For instance, my Danish friends who lived in Engand for a few years and spoke good English would not generally be referred to as immigrants. My work colleagues who are 2nd and 3rd generation West Indian families may be regerred to as immigrants for generations to come. Yet they are British born citizens.
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Old 10.10.2009, 14:48
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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I think that the definition of immigrant changes to suit people's own beliefs. (Or is that racism?)

For instance, my Danish friends who lived in Engand for a few years and spoke good English would not generally be referred to as immigrants. My work colleagues who are 2nd and 3rd generation West Indian families may be regerred to as immigrants for generations to come. Yet they are British born citizens.
For sure. But here it is just raw numbers representing the basic defintion of the word, to be from somewhere else by birth. Some people use accents; I think I do unconsciously back home.
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Old 10.10.2009, 15:00
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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I think that the definition of immigrant changes to suit people's own beliefs. (Or is that racism?)

For instance, my Danish friends who lived in Engand for a few years and spoke good English would not generally be referred to as immigrants. My work colleagues who are 2nd and 3rd generation West Indian families may be regerred to as immigrants for generations to come. Yet they are British born citizens.
Surely your Danish friends would be referred to as expats - they lived in the UK for a few years and then went elsewhere. Isn't that the difference between expats, who go to another country for work-related reasons and may or may not stay, and immigrants, who leave their country of origin for much more serious reasons - war, poverty, political exile, etc - and who generally do not return.
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Old 10.10.2009, 15:05
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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Surely your Danish friends would be referred to as expats - they lived in the UK for a few years and then went elsewhere. Isn't that the difference between expats, who go to another country for work-related reasons and may or may not stay, and immigrants, who leave their country of origin for much more serious reasons - war, poverty, political exile, etc - and who generally do not return.
I would use the same differentiation myself. I am an expat here, as it is only temporary for school/work. When my family emigrated to Canada from the UK, it was definitely to get the hell out of Thatcher's reach to the land of milk and maple syrup.
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Old 10.10.2009, 15:10
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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I would use the same differentiation myself. I am an expat here, as it is only temporary for school/work. When my family emigrated to Canada from the UK, it was definitely to get the hell out of Thatcher's reach to the land of milk and maple syrup.
Political exiles in your family's case then!
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Old 10.10.2009, 15:32
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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Surely your Danish friends would be referred to as expats - they lived in the UK for a few years and then went elsewhere. Isn't that the difference between expats, who go to another country for work-related reasons and may or may not stay, and immigrants, who leave their country of origin for much more serious reasons - war, poverty, political exile, etc - and who generally do not return.
True. I was using them as an example of how different foreign people are perceived.

It is strange that Britons who move to Spain permanently are usually still referred to as expats, not immigrants.
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Old 10.10.2009, 15:39
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

Yes, I suppose the point is that expats have a choice - most immigrants are forced to move by adverse circumstances.
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Old 10.10.2009, 15:48
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

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Yes, I suppose the point is that expats have a choice - most immigrants are forced to move by adverse circumstances.
Many, I would say, not necessarily most.

We only tend to hear the extreme cases: The penniless refugee stumbling out of a shipping container without papers, the successful businessman who arrived with five dollars and an address written on the back of a matchbook... we don't hear so much about the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who just decide that they might earn a bit more money in Europe, that they'd quite like their children to speak English, that Uncle Costas did alright in New York, so I'll give it a shot... the middle class graduates, the ambitious, the bored, the adventurous...

I don't think immigrant communities can be so starkly divided into 'immigrant' and 'expat' boxes based on desperation and poverty, as you imply. In fact, it's just a tad patronising.

Life is rarely so simple.
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Old 10.10.2009, 15:53
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

For much more detailed immigration data, and much more, this site is very useful. NationMaster. I think that I originally saw it referred to in another thread on EF.

Canada is immigrant-friendly. It confers the most new citizenships per capita and per $ GDP, and the second-most new citizenships overall.
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Old 10.10.2009, 18:35
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Re: List of countries by immigrant population

http://www.un.org/esa/population/pub..._wallchart.xls
The data in an Excel table for slicing and dicing.
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