700 million people wish they lived someplace better

Even before the Haiti earthquake, the Gallup organization found that 700 million people, or about 16% of the worlds adults, desires to migrate to another country permanently if they had the chance.

From its surveys in 135 countries between 2007 and 2009, Gallup finds residents of sub-Saharan African countries are most likely to express a desire to move abroad permanently. Thirty-eight percent of the adult population in the region — or an estimated 165 million — say they would like to do this if the opportunity arises. Residents in Asian countries are the least likely to say they would like to move — with 10% of the adult population, or roughly 250 million, expressing a desire to migrate permanently….

…While Gallup’s findings reflect aspirations rather than intent, they suggest hundreds of millions are feeling pulled or pushed, for various reasons, toward countries other than their own. Who these potential migrants are, where they’d like to go, and why, will continue to be crucial for leaders in countries of origin and destination to understand as they develop migration and development strategies during the economic crisis and well after. In most countries, Gallup’s data show people’s desire to relocate to another country permanently did not decrease meaningfully after the global economic crisis hit in 2008.

According to the survey, the places where people want to leave from the most is the sub-saharan region of Africa, and with the fewest people who want to migrate from Singapore. If aspirations became actions, the countries that would suffer the greatest loses would be Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Haiti and El Salvador. The United States, Western Eurpose, Australia, and Saudi Arabia are the most named desired destinations.

Read the rest here.

Past Posts