NPR: "Dozens Of Countries Take In More Immigrants Per Capita Than The U.S."

by Joseph McKeown

Despite America's reputation as a nation of immigrants and melting pot for the world's ethnicities, the US ranks 65th worldwide in terms of the percentage of population that is foreign born, NPR reports, citing a UN report "Trends in International Migrant Stock."

While the US is home to the most foreign-born people (45.7 million in 2013), immigrants in Australia make up more than a fourth (27.7 percent) of the population, and New Zealand and Canada come in at over 20 percent, still beating out the US, which is at 14.3 percent of its population. Sweden, Croatia, and Estonia also beat out the US in terms of the percentage of foreign-born immigrants, and Portugal, Spain, Italy, Norway, and the UK have larger net migration inflow than the US. This is not to mention Monaco (64.2 percent foreign-born), Andorra (56.9 percent), Luxembourg (43.3 percent), and Singapore (42.9 percent).

That said, a Gallup poll back in 2009 showed the US as the most desirable immigrant destination (with Canada coming in second) of the 700 million people worldwide who wished to immigrate permanently. Despite this, America "is just average" for immigrants, the Daily Beast argues. So where to go? Business Week says Switzerland and Germany (though they give an appropriate shout-out to the USA). But wait: migration hurts the homeland, this New York Times op-ed argues, which is perhaps unlikely to dissuade those seeking to immigrate because of war, political instability, or for economic reasons.