They offer the best living standards in the world. They have the best career opportunities and the biggest salaries. In addition to this, they are the most heavily visited destinations in the world. I am talking about the top five countries with the biggest number of expats.
The United Nations puts the figure of international migrant population at over 200 million worldwide and the US sill leads the pack, despite all the economic turmoil and difficult visa entry procedures, in terms of its ability to attract migrant workers.
Expats from all over the world come to American cities, some for the wages, others in pursuit of their idea of what the “American dream” might be. The fact is that last year upwards of 40 million people have somehow crossed the American border.
Even if it’s hard to learn the language or penetrate the culture, Russia ranks second where it comes to attracting expats, attracting around 6.5% of all immigrants. Last year alone, over 12 million people had found jobs in this country.
With just over 10 million people migrating in 2011, Germany occupies the 3rd place in the Top 5 countries with the biggest number of expats. Germany is followed by the United Kingdom. 6.9 million expats having found residence in the land of fog. Very close to the United Kingdom, with only a difference of 100,000 people, is Ukraine. The country is on the last place in the rankings and gathered last year, 3.66% of the total expats of the world.
The runners-up then are France, Saudi Arabia, Canada, India and Spain: each has its own unique story that explains its global appeal.
So what makes people choose one country over the other? While many people go to the US for economic opportunities, for example, it is just as likely that many immigrants go there because many family members have already planted successful roots there, and can help them get a leg up.
However, the majority of expats left their countries for monetary reasons. Some wanted to raise their living standard, so they chose to relocate on their own, whereas others were sent by their employers. Some are on short-time work secondment; others will constantly move from one location to another every few years. Then there will be those who choose to relocate permanently, adopting their new country as their home.
The third reason that these countries attract so many expats is career development. The Academic Ranking of World Universities places the United States once more in first place, with Harvard, Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley as being the most popular.
So what to make of all the economic fluctuation plaguing the Western world at the moment? A listing still places the above-mentioned 5 countries above the rest, since they are also the most wealthy in 2012, even if not on the same ranks. So while unemployment figures may be alarming, this may not necessarily affect hyper educated expats or, on the opposite end of the curb, disposable (or illegal) expat labor.
Despite the unemployment rate issues due to the recession that the US experienced in the past years, the country remained market oriented and will have economic development plans for this year. It’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is at $15,495.389 trillion in 2012, which places the United States highest on the scale once again. China will has an average GDP growth of 2.15 percent and will be the second richest country this year.
Germany has earned a total of $3,707.790 trillion, and it is the number one country when it comes to the economic growth in Europe. However, in the most richest countries’s rank, it sits at fourth place.
United Kingdom is well known for its stable economy, with an average quarterly GDP growth of 0.58%, which places the country in 7th place. Russia is ranked 9th, earning $2,117.245 trillion. If you are an expat in this country, perhaps you shouldn’t worry. It seems to be really confident about development plans that would last until 2020.