Despite a “migration crisis” in Europe and the influence of “anti-immigrant parties,” hope springs eternal among those who want to leave their homeland according to a massive survey of 453,122 adults in 152 counties.
“Instead of any of this acting as a deterrent, Gallup World Poll surveys find people’s desire to migrate permanently to another country actually increased between 2015 and 2017. Gallup’s surveys throughout this period found 15 percent of the world’s adults — or more than 750 million people — saying they would like to move to another country if they had the opportunity,” the pollster reports.
“The countries where potential migrants say they would like to move — if they could — have generally been the same for the past 10 years. In fact, roughly 18 countries attract two-thirds of all potential migrants worldwide,” Gallup said.
The U.S. is the top desired destination, with 21 percent of the respondents saying they would go to America if they could — that is an estimated 158 million people, the pollster said.
Canada and Germany are tied in second place, each with 6 percent of the preference vote; France and Australia are next with 5 percent each; United Kingdom (4 percent); Saudi Arabia and Spain (3 percent each); and Japan and Italy (2 percent each) to round out the top 10.
“While this increase in the desire to migrate may set off alarms among those who would like to see fewer people on the move, Gallup typically finds that the percentage of those who have plans to move is much lower than the percentage who would like to move,” advises Gallup, which also noted that a surprising 1-out-of-6 Americans say that they too would consider leaving their home for life elsewhere.