One in three global citizens want to immigrate

  • 2022

36% around the world willing to migrate. As expected, especially young people from difficult economic background are among potential migrants. Majorities of readiness are observed in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

This is the result of an opinion poll conducted by GIA in 57 countries covering about two thirds of the global population (and about 90% of those countries which are free to conduct and publish opinion research).

36% of global citizens said yes when asked „If you were given all the necessary paperwork, would you like to live in another country or would you prefer to remain where you are?“, 59% answered they would like to stay where they are and remaining did not answer the question.

Younger population significantly more eager to leave their current country. Almost one in two (44%) young people surveyed (those below age 34) said if given the option they would like to live in another country. The figure for young was almost 8 points higher than the average and 21 points higher than older respondents (classified as those above age 55) of which only 23% said they would like to live elsewhere.

Lower Income country respondents significantly more likely to express motivation to emigrate. 62% of respondents surveyed in low-income countries (those classified by World Bank as earning less than 1085 USD per year or less) expressed motivation to live in another country. The motivation seems to drop as the country one lives in prospers. Among high income countries the motivation to migrate was found to be around 32% (half that of the poorest countries).

The analysis reveals that respondents’ own income, education or occupation profile makes little difference in willingness or motivation to migrate. The general income of the country had a significant implication, however in this regard.

Among different regions of the world, willingness to migrate to another country was found to be highest in Sub Saharan Africa (where 56% of respondents surveyed expressed their wish to migrate to another country). This was followed by Latin America (54%). The lowest willingness to migrate was found in South Asia.

Top countries in terms of willingness to migrate were: Sierra Leone (84%), Ghana (81%) and Nigeria (71%). Lowest willingness was registered in India (4%), Vietnam (8%), Japan (14%), etc.



Kancho Stoychev, president of GIA:

“The registered fact that an average of more than every third inhabitant of the studied 57 countries is willing to emigrate is more than significant. The reasons to change the state where you live are for sure various and countries comparisons are maybe not quite appropriate. Obviously the economic circumstances dominate such a decision but by far they are not the only ones. It seems indeed that a very strong cultural identity is the most powerful factor for the opposite – not to emigrate. That is why we register a significantly lower levels of such intentions in countries like India, Vietnam, Japan and Russia.”

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:

A total of 54 329 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed during August – October 2022 either face to face, via telephone or online.

The margin of error for the survey is between +3 – 5% at 95% confidence level.

About Gallup International

Gallup International Association (GIA) is the leading global independent association in market research and opinion polling.
For over 70 years Gallup International members have demonstrated their expert ability to conduct multi-country surveys on a comparable basis and deliver the highest quality. Our more than 100 members and partners are leading national institutes with a profound local knowledge of research methods and techniques, statistical sources, customs and culture differences of its own country and carefully selected by the Association Board. With only one member agency per country, members work together on a daily basis to share knowledge, new research techniques and tools, as well as to provide the most appropriate solutions to international research projects and service our clients to the best of our abilities.

For more information:

Kancho Stoychev (in Sofia), +359 88 8611025
Johnny Heald (in London), +44 7973 600308
Dr Munqith Dagher (in Baghdad) +962 7 9967 2229
Steven Kang (in Seoul) +82-2-3702-2550
Antonio Asencio Guillen (in Madrid) +34 608191334