What is immigration?

We explain what immigration is, what are its causes and differences with emigration. Countries with more immigrants and emigrants.

  1. What is immigration?

Immigration is a type of human displacement (that is, a type of migration) in which individuals from another country or another region enter a particular society . In other words, it is about the arrival of migrants to a specific country, the opposite in that regard to emigration.

Immigration (and emigration, its other side) is an extremely usual event in the history of mankind , which has occurred since time immemorial, and although it may be a controversial event or generate discomfort in local citizens , It is actually one of the most important sources of variation and cultural, genetic and economic diversity of civilization.

Immigrants can leave their native land for various reasons , but generally they contribute new elements to their place of destination: more or less skilled labor, new knowledge, enrich the culture of destiny, and even contribute new genes. This type of migration can be permanent, or it can be temporary, when immigrants after a while return to their initial territory.

It is estimated that there are (in 2015, according to the World Population Index) about 236,288,358 immigrants.

  1. Causes of immigration

Immigration - refugees - migration
Economic, social and political crises can encourage immigration in other countries.

The causes of immigration can be diverse, and among them can be listed:

  • Poor vital conditions of the country of origin. This may consist of economic, social or political crises that subject people to poverty, violence or social confrontation, which would push many to seek new horizons to be able to send money to their families left behind.
  • Natural wars or tragedies. Humanitarian disasters, whether of natural or humanorigin, always generate waves of immigrants (refugees, displaced persons) fleeing to neighboring countries.
  • Personal opportunities. There are also immigrants who pursue job offers, love or personal, and are generally isolated and unique cases.
  1. Immigration and emigration

Immigration and emigration are two sides of the same coin: migration . But if in the first case the migrants arrive from distant countries, in the second the migrants leave for distant countries. This, clearly, from the perspective of a country of origin, since the immigrants here are the emigrants there and vice versa.

Both processes are generally understood in terms of a migratory balance: countries with more immigrants have a positive balance or in favor (not from a qualitative point of view, but quantitative, that is, those migrants may or may not be more or less a benefit to the country that receives them), while countries with high emigration rates show negative balances, as they “lose” citizens.

  1. Countries with more immigrants

Immigration - Immigrants - Germany
Germany hosts about 9,895,244 immigrants.

Immigration occurs in all geographical and historical areas, generally from the most depressed societies to the most buoyant. It is estimated that the countries with the highest immigrant population (according to the 2015 World Population Index census) are:

  • U.S. With 46,785,090 immigrants.
  • Russia. With 13,048,064 immigrants.
  • Germany. With 9,895,244 immigrants.
  • Saudi Arabia. With 9,360,433 immigrants.
  • United Arab Emirates. With 7,826,981 immigrants.
  • United Kingdom. With 7,804,131 immigrants.
  • France. With 7,439,086 immigrants.
  1. Countries with more emigrants

India - Mumbai - immigration - emigration
India is home to some 15.6 million emigrants.

According to the International Migration Report (2015), the countries with the most emigrants are:

  • India. With 15.6 million emigrants.
  • Mexico. With 12.3 million emigrants.
  • Russia. With 10.6 million emigrants.
  • China. With 9.5 million emigrants.
  • Bangladesh With 7.2 million emigrants.
  • Pakistan. With 5.9 million emigrants.
  • Ukraine. With 5.6 million emigrants.

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