The world wants to emigrate says Gallup poll

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A global poll conducted by Gallup suggests that around 640m people around the world, 13% of the world's adult population, want to emigrate. Most, but by no means all of these come from Asia and Africa; most want to move to find new opportunities in Europe or North America.

The poll found that over 150m people worldwide, about 4% of the world's population, would like to move to the United States. A further 45m want to move to the UK and 42m to Canada. Large numbers also want to move to France, Australia and to Saudi Arabia.

Gallup surveyed some 450,000 people between 2009 and 2011 to come up with its findings. The interviewees came from 151 countries which contain 97% of the world's population.

Around one quarter of all those who want to emigrate (23%) want to go to the US. The greatest number of people wants to travel to the US from the following countries:

  1. China 22m
  2. Nigeria 15m
  3. India 10m
  4. Bangladesh 8m
  5. Brazil 7m

The UK came 11th on the list. 3m Britons would emigrate to the US if they could, the poll found.

37% of Liberians would move to the US

Polls conducted in some less populous countries that a substantial proportion of the total population are keen to emigrate to the US. In Liberia, 37% of the population would move to the US permanently if they could and in Sierra Leone 30% would do so.

But, while the US is the most popular destination globally, it is not the most popular destination for the citizens of every country. For example, 10m Indians want to migrate to the US but a massive 37m would prefer to move to the US's northern neighbour Canada. Comparatively few Pakistanis or Iranians want to go to the US because the US is not so popular in those countries. Pakistanis seem to prefer the UK and Saudi Arabia. Iranians would be happy to get as far as Jordan or Lebanon.

The pollsters found that those who want to move are most often seeking new opportunities. Many want to follow in the footsteps of relatives and friends who have already made the move. Others think that their destination Country will offer greater freedom of expression.

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