Most popular immigrant countries revealed

New figures released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reveal that Switzerland welcomed the highest number of permanent immigrants per capita of any country in 2012.

According to the OECD’s 2014 International Migration Outlook, foreigners who settled permanently in Switzerland in 2012 comprised 1.6 per cent of the country’s population in that year, placing it ahead of Norway (1.2 per cent) and Australia (0.3 per cent).

While the United States of America was found to be the most popular immigrant country in terms of the number of new permanent arrivals it receives each year, these newcomers comprise just 0.3 per cent of the country’s total population – below the OECD average of 0.6 per cent.

According to the OECD figures, the US welcomed 1.03 million permanent migrants in 2012 more than the total of 948,200 who arrived in the EU’s OECD  member countries during the same period.

Germany is the second most popular destination in terms of total number (almost 400,000) followed by the UK and France.

Aside from the US, Canada and Australia are the only other non-European countries to have welcomed more that the OECD average of 164,500 people in 2012.

The report, however, said that migration flows to Italy and Spain had declined “rather markedly,” reflecting the ongoing economic situation. “These countries, which were second or third largest immigration countries in the OECD from 2007 to 2011, now hold seventh and eighth positions,” the report noted.

Mexico recorded the fewest number of new immigrant arrivals of all 34 OECD countries in 2012, with just 21,000 people settling in the country, placing below Finland and the Czech Republic.

Article published 2nd December 2014