International migrant stock, total - Country Ranking

Definition: International migrant stock is the number of people born in a country other than that in which they live. It also includes refugees. The data used to estimate the international migrant stock at a particular time are obtained mainly from population censuses. The estimates are derived from the data on foreign-born population--people who have residence in one country but were born in another country. When data on the foreign-born population are not available, data on foreign population--that is, people who are citizens of a country other than the country in which they reside--are used as estimates. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 people living in one of the newly independent countries who were born in another were classified as international migrants. Estimates of migrant stock in the newly independent states from 1990 on are based on the 1989 census of the Soviet Union. For countries with information on the international migrant stock for at least two points in time, interpolation or extrapolation was used to estimate the international migrant stock on July 1 of the reference years. For countries with only one observation, estimates for the reference years were derived using rates of change in the migrant stock in the years preceding or following the single observation available. A model was used to estimate migrants for countries that had no data.

Source: United Nations Population Division, Trends in Total Migrant Stock: 2012 Revision.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 United States 46,627,100.00 2015
2 Germany 12,005,690.00 2015
3 Russia 11,643,280.00 2015
4 Saudi Arabia 10,185,950.00 2015
5 United Kingdom 8,543,120.00 2015
6 United Arab Emirates 8,095,126.00 2015
7 Canada 7,835,502.00 2015
8 France 7,784,418.00 2015
9 Australia 6,763,663.00 2015
10 Spain 5,852,953.00 2015
11 Italy 5,788,875.00 2015
12 India 5,240,960.00 2015
13 Ukraine 4,834,898.00 2015
14 Thailand 3,913,258.00 2015
15 Pakistan 3,628,956.00 2015
16 Kazakhstan 3,546,778.00 2015
17 South Africa 3,142,511.00 2015
18 Jordan 3,112,026.00 2015
19 Turkey 2,964,916.00 2015
20 Kuwait 2,866,136.00 2015
21 Hong Kong SAR, China 2,838,665.00 2015
22 Iran 2,726,420.00 2015
23 Singapore 2,543,638.00 2015
24 Malaysia 2,514,243.00 2015
25 Switzerland 2,438,702.00 2015
26 Côte d'Ivoire 2,175,399.00 2015
27 Argentina 2,086,302.00 2015
28 Japan 2,043,877.00 2015
29 Israel 2,011,727.00 2015
30 Lebanon 1,997,776.00 2015
31 Netherlands 1,979,486.00 2015
32 Oman 1,844,978.00 2015
33 Qatar 1,687,640.00 2015
34 Sweden 1,639,771.00 2015
35 Austria 1,492,374.00 2015
36 Bangladesh 1,422,805.00 2015
37 Venezuela 1,404,448.00 2015
38 Belgium 1,387,940.00 2015
39 Korea 1,327,324.00 2015
40 Greece 1,242,514.00 2015
41 Nigeria 1,199,115.00 2015
42 Mexico 1,193,155.00 2015
43 Uzbekistan 1,170,899.00 2015
44 Kenya 1,084,357.00 2015
45 Belarus 1,082,905.00 2015
46 Ethiopia 1,072,949.00 2015
47 New Zealand 1,039,736.00 2015
48 China 978,046.00 2015
49 Syrian Arab Republic 875,189.00 2015
50 Portugal 837,257.00 2015
51 Serbia 807,441.00 2015
52 Libya 771,146.00 2015
53 Uganda 749,471.00 2015
54 Ireland 746,260.00 2015
55 Norway 741,813.00 2015
56 Brazil 713,568.00 2015
57 Burkina Faso 704,676.00 2015
58 Bahrain 704,137.00 2015
59 Poland 619,403.00 2015
60 Croatia 576,883.00 2015
61 Denmark 572,520.00 2015
62 Dem. Rep. Congo 545,694.00 2015
63 Nepal 518,278.00 2015
64 Chad 516,968.00 2015
65 Sudan 503,477.00 2015
66 Egypt 491,643.00 2015
67 Chile 469,436.00 2015
68 Hungary 449,632.00 2015
69 Rwanda 441,525.00 2015
70 Costa Rica 421,697.00 2015
71 Dominican Republic 415,564.00 2015
72 Czech Republic 405,093.00 2015
73 Ghana 399,471.00 2015
74 Zimbabwe 398,866.00 2015
75 Congo 392,996.00 2015
76 Ecuador 387,513.00 2015
77 Afghanistan 382,365.00 2015
78 Cameroon 381,984.00 2015
79 Mali 363,145.00 2015
80 Iraq 353,881.00 2015
81 Yemen 344,131.00 2015
82 Macao SAR, China 342,703.00 2015
83 Indonesia 328,846.00 2015
84 Finland 315,881.00 2015
85 Burundi 286,810.00 2015
86 Togo 276,844.00 2015
87 Tajikistan 275,059.00 2015
88 Puerto Rico 274,972.00 2015
89 Gabon 268,384.00 2015
90 Azerbaijan 264,241.00 2015
91 Senegal 263,242.00 2015
92 Latvia 263,126.00 2015
93 Tanzania 261,222.00 2015
94 Luxembourg 249,325.00 2015
95 Benin 245,399.00 2015
96 Algeria 242,391.00 2015
97 Slovenia 235,966.00 2015
98 Guinea 228,413.00 2015
99 Romania 226,943.00 2015
100 Mozambique 222,928.00 2015
101 Malawi 215,158.00 2015
102 Philippines 211,862.00 2015
103 Kyrgyz Republic 204,382.00 2015
104 Estonia 202,348.00 2015
105 Turkmenistan 196,386.00 2015
106 Cyprus 196,167.00 2015
107 The Gambia 192,540.00 2015
108 Armenia 191,199.00 2015
109 Niger 189,255.00 2015
110 Panama 184,710.00 2015
111 Slovak Republic 177,190.00 2015
112 Georgia 168,802.00 2015
113 Botswana 160,644.00 2015
114 Paraguay 156,462.00 2015
115 Bolivia 142,989.00 2015
116 Moldova 142,904.00 2015
117 Mauritania 138,162.00 2015
118 Lithuania 136,036.00 2015
119 Colombia 133,134.00 2015
120 Macedonia 130,730.00 2015
121 Zambia 127,915.00 2015
122 Liberia 113,779.00 2015
123 Djibouti 112,351.00 2015
124 Angola 106,845.00 2015
125 Brunei 102,733.00 2015
126 Bulgaria 102,113.00 2015
127 Namibia 93,888.00 2015
128 Sierra Leone 91,213.00 2015
129 Peru 90,881.00 2015
130 Morocco 88,511.00 2015
131 Montenegro 82,541.00 2015
132 Central African Republic 81,598.00 2015
133 Guatemala 76,352.00 2015
134 Cambodia 73,963.00 2015
135 Myanmar 73,308.00 2015
136 Vietnam 72,793.00 2015
137 Uruguay 71,799.00 2015
138 New Caledonia 64,290.00 2015
139 The Bahamas 59,306.00 2015
140 Albania 57,616.00 2015
141 Tunisia 56,701.00 2015
142 Belize 53,860.00 2015
143 Bhutan 51,106.00 2015
144 Trinidad and Tobago 49,883.00 2015
145 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 48,458.00 2015
146 Suriname 46,836.00 2015
147 Andorra 42,082.00 2015
148 El Salvador 42,045.00 2015
149 Malta 41,442.00 2015
150 Nicaragua 40,262.00 2015
151 Haiti 39,529.00 2015
152 Sri Lanka 38,706.00 2015
153 Iceland 37,522.00 2015
154 Bosnia and Herzegovina 34,803.00 2015
155 Barbados 34,475.00 2015
156 Madagascar 32,075.00 2015
157 Swaziland 31,579.00 2015
158 Mauritius 28,585.00 2015
159 Antigua and Barbuda 28,083.00 2015
160 Honduras 28,070.00 2015
161 Papua New Guinea 25,782.00 2015
162 Somalia 25,291.00 2015
163 Cayman Islands 23,726.00 2015
164 Liechtenstein 23,493.00 2015
165 Jamaica 23,167.00 2015
166 Guinea-Bissau 22,333.00 2015
167 Lao PDR 22,244.00 2015
168 Monaco 21,042.00 2015
169 Mongolia 17,620.00 2015
170 Eritrea 15,941.00 2015
171 Guyana 15,384.00 2015
172 Cabo Verde 14,924.00 2015
173 Fiji 13,751.00 2015
174 Cuba 13,336.00 2015
175 Seychelles 12,791.00 2015
176 St. Lucia 12,771.00 2015
177 Comoros 12,555.00 2015
178 Timor-Leste 10,834.00 2015
179 Equatorial Guinea 10,825.00 2015
180 St. Kitts and Nevis 7,443.00 2015
181 Grenada 7,057.00 2015
182 Dominica 6,720.00 2015
183 Lesotho 6,572.00 2015
184 Greenland 6,009.00 2015
185 Tonga 5,731.00 2015
186 Palau 5,664.00 2015
187 Samoa 4,929.00 2015
188 San Marino 4,717.00 2015
189 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 4,577.00 2015
190 Vanuatu 3,187.00 2015
191 Nauru 3,178.00 2015
192 Kiribati 3,153.00 2015
193 Solomon Islands 2,585.00 2015
194 São Tomé and Principe 2,394.00 2015
195 Tuvalu 141.00 2015

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Development Relevance: Movement of people, most often through migration, is a significant part of global integration. Migrants contribute to the economies of both their host country and their country of origin. Yet reliable statistics on migration are difficult to collect and are often incomplete, making international comparisons a challenge. Global migration patterns have become increasingly complex in modern times, involving not just refugees, but also millions of economic migrants. In most developed countries, refugees are admitted for resettlement and are routinely included in population counts by censuses or population registers. But refugees and migrants, even if they often travel in the same way, are fundamentally different, and for that reason are treated very differently under modern international law. Migrants, especially economic migrants, choose to move in order to improve the future prospects of themselves and their families. Refugees have to move if they are to save their lives or preserve their freedom.

Limitations and Exceptions: In deriving the estimates, an international migrant was equated to a person living in a country other than that in which he or she was born. That is, the number of international migrants, also called the international migrant stock, would represent the number of foreign-born persons enumerated in the countries or areas constituting the world. However, because several countries lack data on the foreign-born, data on the number of foreigners, if available, were used instead as the basis of estimation. Consequently, the overall number of migrants in world regions or at the global level do not quite represent the overall number of foreign-born persons. The disintegration and reunification of countries causes discontinuities in the change of the international migrant stock. Because an international migrant is equated with a person who was born outside the country in which he or she resides, when a country disintegrates, persons who had been internal migrants because they had moved from one part of the country to another may become, overnight, international migrants without having moved at that time. Such changes introduce artificial but unavoidable discontinuities in the trend of the international migrant stock. The reunification of States also introduces discontinuities, but in the opposite direction.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The basic data to estimate the international migrant stock were obtained mostly from population censuses held during the decennial rounds of censuses. Some of the data used were obtained from population registers and nationally representative surveys. In the majority of cases, the sources available had gathered information on the place of birth of the enumerated population, thus allowing for the identification of the foreign-born population. In estimating the international migrant stock, international migrants have been equated with the foreign-born whenever possible. In most countries lacking data on place of birth, information on the country of citizenship of those enumerated was available and was used as the basis for the identification of international migrants, thus effectively equating international migrants with foreign citizens. Among the 230 countries or areas that constituted the world in 2008, 91 percent had at least one data source on the international migrant stock, and of those 78 percent used the number of foreign-born persons as the basis for estimation. For about 18 percent of the countries, the number of international migrants was based on data regarding foreign citizens. There were nine countries with no information including China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Eritrea and Somalia. For countries having information on the international migrant stock for at least two points in time, interpolation or extrapolation using an exponential growth rate was used to estimate the international migrant stock on 1 July of the reference years. In some instances, the estimates were adjusted on the basis of other relevant information, including the size of the total population in the country, to ensure that the proportion of migrants in small populations did not increase to unacceptable levels. For all other countries with only one data source, estimates for the reference years were derived by assuming growth rates of the migrant stock in the years preceding or following the only data source available. For the nine countries or areas for which no information was available on the international migrant stock, a model, based on the general observation that the proportion of international migrants tends to be inversely related to the size of the total population, was used. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 people living in one of the newly independent countries who were born in another were classified as international migrants. Estimates of migrant stock in the newly independent states from 1990 on are based on the 1989 census of the Soviet Union.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual