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Most Desired Destinations for Potential Migrants

According to a Gallup survey, an estimated 640 million people say they would like to leave their country permanently. Guess the 15 most popular countries they would like to emigrate to.
Based on this survey, which was taken between 2009 and 2011
Quiz by relessness
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First submittedNovember 28, 2016
Last updatedDecember 9, 2016
Times taken16,612
Rating4.63
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#
Country
150 mil
United States
45 mil
United Kingdom
42 mil
Canada
32 mil
France
31 mil
Saudi Arabia
#
Country
26 mil
Australia
26 mil
Germany
25 mil
Spain
18 mil
Italy
13 mil
United Arab Emirates
#
Country
12 mil
Japan
9 mil
Switzerland
8 mil
South Africa
6 mil
Russia
6 mil
Sweden
+6
level 48
Nov 28, 2016
Saudi Arabia, Incredible!
+4
level 73
Dec 9, 2016
I figured there had to be at least one "stable" middle eastern nation for the rest of the political refugees in the area to get to without having to travel very far. Maybe Saudi Arabia and UAE are on the list for that reason.
+3
level 69
Dec 9, 2016
The survey is of 2011, so I guess not. But I believe, for some muslims it would be appealing to live near their most holy cities.
+4
level 83
Dec 10, 2016
UAE is the land of opportunity for Indian migrants, especially. Tons of high-paying jobs, safe, modern, very low taxes, and just about as Western as you can get in that part of the world. Something like 90% of the population there are expatriates from other countries.
+2
level ∞
Dec 10, 2016
Yeah. I imagine that a lot people polled in South Asia know people who emigrated to UAE or Saudi Arabia and are sending back checks. But a desire to emigrate to Japan is kind of strange since Japan doesn't really allow immigration.
+1
level 69
Feb 22, 2017
@ Quizmaster Regarding immigration laws don't matter - the question is just asking "where would you like to move permanently". If you asked me "would you like to be a billionaire", I'd answer yes. It's unlikely to ever happen, but I'd still like it. Also, plenty of people live Permanently in Japan. Citizenship is rarer, but there are plenty of long term/permanent expats throughout all of East Asia.
+4
level 77
Feb 24, 2017
Saudi Arabia accepts almost zero refugees. People don't go there because they're fleeing ISIS. They go there to work or to be close to Mecca. Most refugees fleeing the Middle East don't want to stay in the Middle East. They want to get to the United States or Germany or the UK. Of those that flee to neighboring countries, a large portion end up in Jordan. And huge numbers have funneled in to Turkey. But those that go to Turkey usually try to keep going on to Greece and then to the EU. Saudi Arabia is a dead end, and... I think most residents of the Middle East don't have a very high opinion of the place anyway. Most of the expats there come from South or SouthEast Asia or Africa.
+3
level 60
Feb 22, 2017
Honestly compared to the rest of the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula is considerably more stable,
+4
level 54
Mar 6, 2017
With the exception of Yemen, I guess.
+1
level 77
Feb 22, 2017
People go to Saudi Arabia mostly either for the high pay checks and no taxes, or because they are deluded Muslims who believe that the land of Muhammad is going to be some kind of paradise untouched by the evils of Western/American decadence. About 95% are in for a seriously rude awakening when they get there, while the other 5% somehow manage to live with their heads in the sand the whole time. Those ones always irritated the hell out of me.
+1
level 77
Feb 22, 2017
Also Saudis don't like to work so they recruit heavily in other countries... and in places like Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Egypt, or Sudan it's quite likely that people have a friend or family member who got a job there.
+2
level 48
Mar 18, 2018
they are all expats. they can never be a citizen of their country. unless they did something great for their country and you convert to their religion and you know how to speak arabic.
+1
level 72
Jul 1, 2018
Money. You know you're coming from somewhere bad or a pure misogynist if Saudi Arabia seems perfect.
+1
level ∞
Dec 9, 2016
Japan is the country that surprises me the most!
+3
level 69
Dec 9, 2016
Why? It's rich, clean, well developed, and a lot of people are interested in Japanese culture.
+3
level 73
Dec 10, 2016
But people who wish to emigrate there don't know this yet
+4
level 65
Dec 11, 2016
The Japanese are some of the most xenophobic people on Earth.
+1
level 54
Dec 28, 2016
That is not true
+1
level 77
Feb 22, 2017
The Japanese are some of the friendliest people on Earth. So many times in Tokyo people would just stop and ask me if I needed any help with anything. And Japan is a great country; Tokyo an amazing city; with a culture as pervasive and attractive as any other except of course for America's. One of the most successful economies in the world. No surprise at all that people would want to move there.
+6
level 39
Feb 22, 2017
That doesn't change the fact that they are xenophobic. Only they do not tell it to your face, because they are polite.
+3
level 51
Feb 22, 2017
Only .2% of asylum applications in Japan are accepted...there is extreme reluctance there when accepting refugees
+4
level 71
Feb 22, 2017
That's probably why there are never any terrorist attacks in Japan. Or skyrocketing rape rates.
+1
level 73
Feb 22, 2017
Bernard62601 -> In 1995, Aum Shinrikyo gased the Tokyo Metro with sarin. Not a lot of deaths or critical injuries but it impaired roughly 5,000 people for days. This sect also tried to bring some Ebola strain in an "humanitarian mission" from Zaire, in the hope of farming it and release it. The Japanese Red Army was also responsible of some hijackings and killings. So you see that even the arguably most secure country in the world can breed its own terrorist threats.
+3
level 34
Jul 5, 2017
The Japanese are very friendly to tourists and westeners but they are a very protectionist society (like Australia but even more regarding immigration). When their ageing population was a concern they offered incentives to japanese people living abroad, specifically in Brazil rather than accept more immigrants to fill the labour gap. Also, there are very few black or arabic people there, they can be pretty racist. Instead they're one of the biggest contributers to UN refugee programs to get out of accepting them in. Plus their society isn't very accepting of half Japanese people as well.
+2
level 77
May 17, 2019
This quiz is not on the subject of which countries are most willing to accept refugees or hand out citizenship, it's about which countries people would like to move to if they could. And it makes perfect sense why people might like to move to Japan, given my explanation. Very nice place to live. Nice people. Clean. Modern. Vibrant attractive culture. Pervasive popular culture. Fairly strong economy. It's surprising that anyone would be surprised by this.
+1
level 31
Sep 22, 2017
I'm currently living in Japan, and xenophobic is a word I would never use in describing Japanese people. That said, they're so homogenized that they are often clueless to the world outside a lot of the time. That said, from working in a school, they are (or at least my schools are) trying very hard to change this and educate their children with a more international understanding. They do live in this 'Japanese bubble'; for example, the people I work with think foreign people are interested in Japanese culture because it's such a mystery to them. Likewise, they can be clueless about other cultures, but they're always interested and want to learn more about them. I can't speak about government policies, but Japanese people tend to shy away from politics and expressing their own opinions, hence no outcry to let more people in.
+1
level 55
Dec 10, 2016
To all potential migrants to the UK, be warned! It is not the land of milk and honey that some perceive it to be.
+2
level 47
Dec 11, 2016
You can say that to pretty much every Western country.
+1
level 71
Dec 12, 2016
Of pretty much every country period, western or not.
+1
level 57
Feb 22, 2017
But are faaaaaar better than most for any hardworking individual, opportunity-wise. That's the difference. I would know, as I am one of those immigrants.
+2
level 77
Sep 21, 2017
Not true. Americans love dairy.
+1
level 38
Mar 18, 2018
Why anyone would choose to live in the UK over France or Monaco is beyond me. Have you tasted their food?!
+2
level 66
Nov 20, 2018
You obviously havent tasted enough to make a rational comment. Good British food would compare just as favourably with good food from the other countries you mention.
+3
level 70
Dec 11, 2016
The biggest problem I see with people who want to emigrate to other countries is most don't seem to want to integrate. They want the new country to bend to their culture, then trying to integrate the culture that they were emigrating from. Maybe people should consider that the culture as a whole that they are leaving is part of the reason those countries are in such as state that would make them want to leave.
+3
level 71
Dec 13, 2016
You're watching too much Fox News.
+2
level 66
Dec 20, 2016
"You're watching too much Fox News" This exact outlook towards migrants is what got 13 people killed and 50+ wounded in Berlin, and several people shot in Switzerland yesterday. These people want to destroy the West and the West refuses to acknowledge the problem.
+2
level 62
Dec 25, 2016
And I assume you watch too much CNN.
+3
level 47
Feb 22, 2017
The west has killed far more people in the middle east than the other way around
+2
level 45
Jan 31, 2019
Tinkle Pork. You do realise that most terrorists are actually born and bred in the country they commit the crime in. It is extremely rare for immigrants or refugees (yes, there is a big difference), to commit crimes in countries they come to, and in fact, they benefit the economy enormously, and are far less likely than the original inhabitants to lean on welfare systems.
+2
level 62
Dec 25, 2016
This statement can be seen especially applied to Germany.
+1
level 72
Feb 22, 2017
No it can't, because that story about of refugees-out-of-control in Germany at Christmas has been outed as a lie. It was fake news about something that never happened.
+2
level ∞
Feb 22, 2017
@Jerry, I think you are confusing the New Years attacks (real) with the Christmas attacks (fake).
+4
level 47
Jan 2, 2017
I wouldn't say most don't want to integrate, I do know what you mean. Head to the Spanish coast, and it is full of British people who do little integration with the locals.
+2
level 67
Feb 22, 2017
The major problem with tourist regions such as the Spanish Coast that you mention, is that the locals want the trade and the money, they just don't want to be bothered with a gang of foreigners. The tourists want the sunshine and relaxed life, they just don't want to be bothered with a gang of foreigners.
+1
level 60
Feb 22, 2017
Really? In my experience, most people I met who immigrate to my country, Canada, try to blend in to the new country. On the other hand, most of the Canadian emigrants seem to retain their culture, expecting the new country to change to fit their needs. Anyways, Australia, United States and Canada, among other countries, all has traditional cultures that have been harmed and taken over by immigrants before--European immigrants--and these new immigrants are not outnumbering you and putting your culture into residential schools like the Europeans did to Canada.
+1
level 27
Mar 3, 2017
Yup, they come and take welfare, but don't contribute.
+1
level 45
May 27, 2019
That's not true, and statistics will prove my point.
+2
level 72
Feb 22, 2017
It would be interesting to see the total number of people wanting to leave each country, then recalculate all countries' populations assuming all these wished-for moves happened.
+1
level 24
Feb 22, 2017
We will see USA from that Trump, I bet that Canada + UK would get a lot bigger
+1
level 45
Aug 26, 2018
If the terrible brexit goes ahead the UK will become less appealing.
+1
level 77
Feb 22, 2017
I thought I commented on this before.. ? but the methodology for this survey is very flawed IMO. There are huge disparities in the representation of certain areas. They use different methods to survey in different places. Many countries are left out. etc.
+1
level 47
Feb 22, 2017
Yeah I'm sure there are many flaws. Still interesting though, and you can't beat the usual comments of globalists vs isolationists. I think you commented on a different quiz, the one about most popular cities to move to.
+1
level 77
Feb 22, 2017
perhaps.
+1
level 77
Feb 22, 2017
I seem to recall the methodology being even more seriously flawed than this polls'... so that makes sense. It might have been different polls.
+1
level 32
Feb 22, 2017
finished with over 2 min left nice quiz!
+1
level 38
Feb 22, 2017
I've know hundreds of immigrants to the US. I don't know any that don't want to become an Americans. They typically like to keep their religious customs and family traditions. But, they all want to wear jeans and tee shirts and shop at malls and go to chain restaurants. If the US was the horrible place that it is often painted to be, I have to suppose the immigration "problem" would fix itself. It all boils down to whether American citizens want the government to require immigrants to be here legally, or turn a blind eye to those here illegally. At the end of the day, the US is far from perfect. However, it does offer a better way of life than many face in their home countries.
+1
level 71
Feb 22, 2017
It seems we have a much better system than Europe. They just let people pour in, must of whom are young men and aren't Syrian.
+1
level 45
Aug 26, 2018
So you'd only accept a small number of refugees and then leave the rest to potentially die. Very humanitarian of you.
+1
level 46
Feb 22, 2017
I got all of them except Italy... Ugh
+1
level 51
Feb 22, 2017
150 million, or a little less than 50% of the current US population. Yeah, I imagine that would go swimmingly. It's so terrible that we have a president who has no interest in allowing anything like that to happen, then we could be as great as Canada or Sweden
+1
level 13
Feb 22, 2017
man i never woulda thought of saudi arabia and uae #cguyisawesome
+1
level 77
Feb 23, 2017
I've got to imagine if the data were complete, South Korea would make the list.
+1
level 48
Feb 23, 2017
Crazy when you think that the number of people who want to immigrate to Canada is actually higher than the current population of Canada! Bring em on! We could use some more people up here.
+2
level 45
Feb 24, 2017
Then a 90%-immigrant Toronto will take up the entirety of Southern Ontario, because nobody ever wants to go anywhere ELSE when they arrive. Except maybe Vancouver and they're even worse off than Toronto is right now regarding being able to actually afford to live there and finding some actual born-here Canadians living in it that aren't just attending school. I like my Canada sparsely populated and wild, thanks.
+1
level 38
Mar 18, 2018
It is my understanding that the waiting list to get into Canada is huge and the criteria for admission as an immigrant virtually guarantees rejection.
+1
level 60
Mar 6, 2017
I think some people are confusing refugees with immigrants. And a poll with reality. Just because people say they'd like to leave their country doesn't mean they will and vice versa.
+1
level 45
Jul 30, 2018
Agreed. Confusing refugees with immigrants is one of the biggest problems today. Some people seemingly just cannot understand the difference.
+1
level 49
Feb 12, 2019
Haha, Switzerland gonna more than double the population then!
+1
level 53
Feb 21, 2019
Sweden should probably be higher, I think. (not a Swede) Also Holland/Belgium.
+1
level 19
Oct 5, 2019
wtf saudi arabia