Countries With The Most Emigrants Living Abroad

India, Russia, and Mexico are close contenders for having the most former residents dwelling in foreign lands today.

10. Turkey - 4,300,000

Turkey has traditionally been regarded as a country of emigration because of the large numbers of Turkish nationals who have emigrated from Turkey to countries in Western Europe, especially West Germany before the fall of the Eastern Bloc. Most of the Turkish emigration in recent years has involved ethnic Kurds, who have fled their homeland as a consequence of the rising violence in efforts to suppress the Kurdish movement for a separate state. According to recent statistics, there are about 3.6 million Turkish nationals living abroad today, with 3.2 million of them currently living in European countries.

9. Phillipines - 4,300,000

The Philippines, an archipelago of around 7,000 islands and a country with a culturally diverse population, has supplied a large number of skilled and unskilled workers to the global workforce in over 200 other countries around the world. According to 2004 statistics, nearly 10% of the 8.1 million population of Philipines, i.e., about 85 million Filipinos, were working in countries abroad. A 2005 film, ‘La Visa Loca’ captured a Filipino’s dream to access a U.S Visa, and with it achieve goals of having a better life abroad. However, besides the U.S.A, large numbers of Filipinos also emigrate to the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Oceania and Africa in the pursuit of their dreams.

8. United Kingdom - 4,700,000

Experts in the United Kingdom believe that Britain is close to suffering a ‘brain-drain’, with a large number of skilled workers emigrating to countries abroad in search of better job opportunities. This is causing the country’s employers to rely on a rising immigrant population themselves to get the job done. According to the latest estimates, 641,000 immigrant workers arrived to Britain in 2014, a figure higher than the number of 526,000 in 2013. At the same time, 323,000 people emigrated from the United Kingdom to other countries in 2014. Besides work, a large section of the United Kingdom’s emigrants also have left the country to resettle in their respective familes' traditional homeland countries in Europe and elsewhere.

7. Pakistan - 4,700,000

Pakistan’s emigrant figure is skyrocketing, with 4,700,000 Pakistanis living and working abroad in a large number of countries, such as the nations of the Middle East, the United Kingdom and other European countries, the U.S.A, and Canada. Most asylum seekers from Pakistan seek refuge in European countries, supposedly because of chances of a more positive response from these nations. According to an Islamabad based poll, 27% of all Pakistanis are ready to leave their country in order to settle abroad. Most of these emigrants are leaving their motherland in search of better work and lifestyle opportunities. However, the growing incidence of violence and terrorist activities in the nation is also contributing to a rise in emigration of Pakistanis from their country.

6. Bangladesh - 5,400,000

Since the 1980s, Bangladesh has witnessed large scale emigration from the country to countries abroad. This is especially of Bengali movements into the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who, like Bangladesh, are predominately Muslim, yet, unlike Bangladesh, have a greater wealth of job opportunities. According to official data, 5 million Bangladeshis migrated to the GCC states between 1976 and 2009 in search of jobs. In the 1990s, labor migration from Bangladesh started expanding to include other countries, like other Southeast Asian nations, Japan, and a few African countries. Among these, Malaysia received the largest number, with 698,736 Bangladeshi workers arriving between 1976 and 2009. Emigration from Bangladesh continues to this date in large numbers, with about 5,400,000 Bangladeshis living outside their homeland as per current statistics.

5. Ukraine - 6,600,000

War and economic problems have led to the migration of a large number of Ukrainians to countries abroad in search of peace and prosperity. Around 1.2 million Ukrainians have been displaced within the country and about 777,355 have sought asylum in countries such as neighboring Russia in light of recent events. This accounts for about 4.4% of the total population of the country. It is estimated that currently 6,600,000 Ukrainians are living abroad, away from their homelands and instead scattered across the different regions of the world.

4. China - 8,300,000

Mass emigration from China occurred in the period between the start of the 19th Century and 1949, as a result of wars, food crises, foreign invasions, and political corruption. Most of the emigrants during this period involved unskilled laborers, who left their homeland for countries in the Americas, Southeast Asian countries, South Africa, and Australia. Even though China’s strict controls in the past attempted to prevent large scale migration of Chinese into foreign lands, scientists and students from this country had to be allowed to attend conferences worldwide to allow for the continued exchange of education and scientific information among the nations. Thus, in 1983, Chinese emigration restrictions were eased, allowing the emigration of large numbers of Chinese students and scientific personnel into countries abroad. Growing contact with the industrialized nations also led to the export of labor from China to these lands, which continues to this day.

3. Russia - 11,100,000

According to a recent Reuters report, Russia is experiencing a major ‘brain-drain’ issue, seeing the emigration of Russians being five times more common as of now than in the early 2000s. It is claimed that this rise in emigration is mostly due to the migrant population's demand for a better life, greater political freedom, and a more stable economic situation. According to official data, 186,382 Russians left the country in 2013, which is significantly higher than the figure of 122,751 in 2012. Although these are official figures, some theorize that the actual numbers could be much higher still.

2. India - 11,400,000

India’s situation of emigration is an extremely complex one, and so is its large and extremely diverse population. Indians have migrated to all corners of the globe since the 19th Century, and established their own ethnic communities in all of the continents of the world, as well as on islands in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. A major emigration wave occurred in India during the British rule there, when Indian laborers were transported to British colonies abroad to serve various positions demanding unskilled labor. After India’s Independence, a large number of unskilled, skilled, and professional workers alike from India migrated to the United Kingdom. In more recent years, a significant number of Indian students (153,000 in 2007) have emigrated to nations with more developed economies for their education. With the growth in India’s Information Technology (IT) industrial sector and a booming growth of IT professionals, many of them have emigrated abroad to work in multinational corporations. Today, a staggering figure of around 11,400,000 Indians are living abroad, most serving in various professional, skilled, and unskilled work positions in foreign lands.

1. Mexico - 11,900,000

Mexico’s emigration problem is a unique one, with more than 98% of all Mexican migrants living in the U.S.A, the country with which Mexico shares a border that runs 1,933 miles in length. The Mexican emigration rate increased substantially since the 1960s and, with more than 11% of Mexicans living abroad, Mexico is the country with the largest number of emigrants in the world. Besides the U.S.A, Mexican emigrant populations have also settled in other English-dominant countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as certain Latin American countries to their south. There are also reports of significant numbers of Mexican laborers migrating to the Ukraine and Saudi Arabia to work in the oil and construction industries there.

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