HomeNewsImmigration Statistics by Country: Eye-Opening Numbers for 2023
Immigration Statistics by Country: Eye-Opening Numbers for 2023

Immigration Statistics by Country: Eye-Opening Numbers for 2023

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Close to four percent of people in the world live in a country they weren’t born in. Moreover, the number of people who want or have to move is growing every year. Therefore, it’s vital to stay informed about the world’s most popular destinations and the most common countries of origin. We’ve gathered the 23 most important immigration statistics by country to provide you with a solid foundation for further improvement. 

Keep reading and improve your understanding of this critical topic.

Immigration Statistics by Country: 10 Key Numbers

  • 3.60% of people live in a country they weren’t born in.

  • Over 100 million people are displaced globally.

  • India has the most citizens abroad with 17.9 million people in total.

  • Almost a fifth of all the world’s immigrants live in the US.

  • 23.6% of legal permanent residents in the US come from Mexico.

  • 5% of US legal permanent residents originate from China.

  • As of 2021, there are at least 23.7 million immigrants in the European Union.

  • There were around 681 thousand undocumented migrants in the EU in 2021.

  • Germany has the highest number of foreign-born people in Europe (15+ million).

  • There are around 12 million immigrants in Russia.

World Immigration Stats

Migration statistics show that as of 2020, 3.60% of people live in a country they weren’t born in.

This means about one in thirty people will migrate in their lives. Since 1990, this percentage has been growing from 2.81% to 3.60% that we see today. In other words, there were 151 million migrants in 1990, whereas that number grew to 281 million in 2020.

(World Migration Report)

In 2022, for the first time in history, refugee statistics show over 100 million people are displaced globally.

If all forcibly displaced people lived in one country, that country would have the fourteenth largest population in the world. In 2022, conflict in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan, DR of the Congo, and Ukraine forced more people to leave their homes.


India has the most citizens abroad with 17.9 million people in total.

The country with the second-largest diaspora is Mexico with 11.1 million people living abroad, according to the latest UN report from 2020. As of 2020, the Russian diaspora is considered the third-largest in the world, followed by Chinese and Syrian emigrants. Bangladesh (7.4 million) and Pakistan (6.3 million) come next, followed by Ukraine (6.1 million), the Philippines (6.1 million) and Afghanistan (5.9 million). 

However, with the scope of political changes, conflict, and climate disasters that happened in 2022, the numbers for some of these countries are most likely much higher at the moment.

(World Population Review)

The US has the highest number of immigrants in the world.

US immigration statistics reflect the fact that the US population has been built on immigration since its beginnings. Today, it’s still the most popular destination for immigrants. The latest statistics put the number of immigrants in the US at 50.6 million or 15.3% of the US population.

(World Migration Report)

Almost a fifth of all the world’s immigrants live in the US, making it the country with the highest immigration rate in the world.

When looking at the five countries with the highest immigration rates, we can see that the US is followed by Germany, with almost 16 million immigrants as of the latest report, and Saudi Arabia with 13 million. The fourth most popular destination for immigration is the Russian Federation while the UK comes fifth.

(World Migration Report)

UK immigrant statistics show there are about 9.6 million immigrants in the UK.

Foreign-born people make up 14.5% of the UK population, while the percentage is much lower for foreign nationals at 9.1%. The number of foreign nationals has also grown. However, this may have been the consequence of Brexit, as many UK citizens who were able to get dual citizenship from one of the EU countries have done so, especially for EU8 countries.

(House of Commons Library)

35% of all UK immigrants live in London.

35% of UK immigrants, as statistics point out, live in the capital. Also, immigrants make up a significant share of the capital’s population, with 37% of London inhabitants having been born in a foreign country. Most came to the country to study.

(House of Commons Library)

Russian immigration statistics show there are around 12 million immigrants in Russia.

When it comes to the countries with the most immigrants, the RF is the third most immigrated in the world. Most of the people who immigrate to Russia come from former Soviet republics, with Tajikistan being the most common country of origin in 2021, with almost 127 thousand people from this country changing their residence to Russia. The second most common country of origin in 2021 was Ukraine with close to 123 thousand people moving to Russia.

(World Migration Report, Statista)

Russia had the highest net migration rate in Europe in 2021.

In Russia, the immigration rate in 2021 was higher than its emigration rate, meaning it received more people than it had lost in the given year. All in all, the Russian Federation gained 320,617 people from immigration in 2021, mainly due to its immigration policies relaxing.


Only 2.9% of people in Japan are immigrants. 

Although there was a drop in the number of people moving to Japan, immigration statistics show there are 2.89 million immigrants in Japan as of 2020. This immigration rate is at the lower end of the global spectrum (with Japan also accepting only 74 refugees in 2021). However, that’s still double compared to 2000 when only 1.26% of people in Japan were immigrants, so Japan had some of the lowest immigration rates by country in the world.


The highest immigration percentage by country belongs to Vatican City at 100%.

The smallest country in the world is unsurprisingly populated by immigrants entirely. However, after Vatican City, the next country on the list is Tokelau at 91%, followed by UAE at 88%, and Qatar at 77%.

(World Population Review)

US Immigration Statistics By Country of Origin

23.6% of immigrants in the US come from Mexico.

Mexico is the most frequent country of origin for US immigrants. Stats on immigration put the total number of legal permanent residents from Mexico at 2.97 million in 2022.

(Migration Policy Institute, Office of Immigration Statistics)

830 thousand or 5% of legal permanent residents originate from China.

People born in China make up the second-highest number of immigrants in the US. They represent 5% of all immigrants in the US, according to the latest US immigration statistics.

(Office of Immigration Statistics)

India is the third most common country of origin among legal permanent residents with 580 thousand people.

Immigration numbers by country show the Dominican Republic is the fourth most common country of origin with 550 thousand LPRs in 2022. Number five is the Philippines with 510 thousand, followed by Cuba at 500 thousand. Cuba is followed by Vietnam with 360 thousand legal permanent residents and El Salvador with 320 thousand.

(Office of Immigration Statistics)

70% of US immigrants come from 20 countries, according to legal immigrant statistics.

Including the eight countries we have named so far, US immigrants mostly come from 20 countries of origin. However, 3.94 million people come from all other countries in the world, showing that the US is still a popular destination for people from all over the world who want to look for happiness elsewhere.

(Office of Immigration Statistics)

At 5.6 million, North America is the most common region of origin for LPRs in 2022.

Most LPRs come from North America, including Mexico and Canada. Concerning immigration from Canada to the USA, statistics show there are about 270 thousand people born in Canada that are LPRs in the US as of 2022.

(Office of Immigration Statistics)

Asia is the second most common region of origin for US immigrants with 4.1 million LPRs.

Statistics on immigration point out that Asia comes second with 4.1 million while Europe comes third with 1.4 million. The last is South America with 840 thousand immigrants. With 940 thousand people coming from other regions or with their region of origin unknown, the total comes to 12.9 million people with legal permanent resident status in 2022.

(Office of Immigration Statistics)

EU Immigration Statistics By Country

As of 2021, there are at least 23.7 million immigrants in the European Union.

This statistic on immigration means at least 5.3% of people in the EU are considered immigrants. The largest share of EU nationals that chose to live in a country other than their own comes from Romania at three million. Next, there’s Poland with 1.5 million people in the rest of the EU, and Italy is the third most frequent country of origin.


At over 15 million, Germany has the highest number of foreign-born inhabitants in Europe.

The two EU members with the highest immigration rates by country are Germany (15 million people) and France (8.5 million). Regarding the third country, Spain, immigration statistics estimate there are 7 million foreign-born inhabitants. Italy comes fourth at 6.1 million. The Netherlands comes next but is far behind at 2 million foreign-born people, similarly to Belgium and Sweden. Malta, being a small island country, has around 119 thousand foreign-born inhabitants.


In the EU, Luxembourg has the highest share of immigrants per capita by country, 37.5 per 1000 inhabitants.

After Luxembourg, Cyprus is next at 29 immigrants per 1000 inhabitants. It’s followed by Malta, which, although it has the lowest number of immigrants, still has a high rate of immigration compared to its population size, at 26.9 per 1000.


Undocumented Immigration Statistics

Close to 180 thousand non-EU citizens were ordered to leave the EU in the first half of 2022.

2022 showed an increase in the deportation of illegal immigrants, statistics point out. The increase was especially prominent in the second quarter, both compared to the first quarter of the year and Q1 of 2022. France has issued the highest number of orders to leave at over 30 thousand in each quarter. The other two countries that issued the most orders were Greece and Germany.


EU illegal immigration statistics show there were around 681 thousand undocumented migrants in the EU in 2021.

In 2021, there were 22% more illegal immigrants in the EU compared to the year before that. Most people that were discovered illegally in the EU were people from Syria, Algeria, and Afghanistan.


The number of illegal immigrants in the US is estimated at around 11.4 million.

The latest statistics show that 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants live in the US as of 2018. However, one interesting fact about immigration is that being an illegal immigrant does not mean being invisible to the system. In the US, illegal immigrants paid $36 billion in tax in the year of measurement (2014).


Immigration Statistics by Country FAQ

How many illegal immigrants are in the US?
What percentage of the world’s population are refugees?
Which country takes in the most immigrants per capita?
Where do most of the immigrants in the United States come from?
Which country has the most immigrants in Europe?


While the number of people who don’t live in their country of origin is close to reaching 300 million, with 100 million of them being refugees in 2022, it’s essential to stay aware of immigration as a fact of life. What statistics have to offer is a view of the latest changes and some decade-long immigration trends. Unsurprisingly, the US remains the most common destination for immigrants, hosting a fifth of the world’s immigrant population. The EU is another popular destination, with Germany topping the list.

Finally, even countries that were traditionally more strict on immigration, such as Japan and the Russian Federation, have started relaxing their immigration policies, helping their economies and rejuvenating their population.


Dunja Radonic
Dunja Radonic
Dunja is an English Literature graduate with years of experience as a writer and translator within the financial sector. She loves diving into as many reports and numbers —especially about topics like personal finance that still need some translating to the public. When she's not working, you'll find her running wild with her pack of dogs, playing board games, or bingeing on pop science videos.