Expat nation 5th largest in the world

expat population by numbers

The total number of expatriates has reached 230 million worldwide, according to data collected by Feedbacq, an international movers platform. If you were to put all these expats together they would form the fifth largest country in the world. This expatriate nation would have a greater population than Brazil, Pakistan or Russia.

Moving abroad is increasingly seen as commonplace rather than an unusual lifestyle choice – with the number of expats rising from 73 million in 1960 to the 230 million living abroad today. With increased globalisation, more people, and companies, are seeing fewer barriers to relocating.

Big business

Many expats move abroad to work and think nothing of sending a large percentage of their salary home to their families. These remittances make up a huge sum, estimated at US$440 billion per year.

The total amount of expat remittance to developing countries was US$328 billion in 2012, which is equivalent to the annual GDP of Denmark. India, China and Mexico are the top three recipients of expat remittances.

If the number of expats continues to rise as it has since 1960 then in 30 years time there could be as many as 320 million expatriates around the world. This represents a large market for businesses targeting those living abroad, everything from currency exchange to relocation companies.

Expat destinations

The countries with the highest percentage of expats out of the total population are unsurprisingly, Qatar (86.5%), the UAE (70%) and Kuwait (68.8%). Jordan and Singapore came in fourth and fifth place respectively.

In OECD countries expats account for 13% of the population. In other words 1 in 10 people is an expat. If you look at the HSBC Expat Explorer survey, the top countries for expats are Singapore, Thailand and the Cayman Islands. The survey considers financial criteria, as well as quality of life factors.

Feedbacq calculates there are 6.32 million American living abroad, which makes up around 2% of the total population of the U.S. However, British people seem more inclined to live abroad – 4.7 million or 7.5% of the UK’s population are expats.

Why did you move abroad? Do you live in an expat dominated country like Qatar? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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