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10 Countries that Have the Most Legal and Illegal Immigrants

What are the countries that have the most legal and illegal immigrants?

Unfortunately, we live in the world where many people don’t live in their place of birth, and the reasons for that are numerous. Sometimes people simply migrate because of their job, studies, and better opportunities in general, but on the other side, sometimes people are forcefully driven away from their homes, due to devastating occasions, such as wars, threats or any other political issues. On the contrary to those who are in the position to choose a country to migrate to, making the choice according to their needs, these migrants are not in the position to be choosy, but they simply go wherever the road takes them, together with the people of similar destiny. Generally speaking, some countries are more open when it comes to receiving migrants, while some other are not that interested, which is the reason I recommend you reading the list of Easiest Countries to Immigrate to.

10 Countries That Have the Most Legal and Illegal Immigrants

Mikael Damkier/

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs report, the number of international migrants increased for 41% from the year 2000, going up to 244 million of people who left their homes. Europe is still the place where the biggest number of people moves to, around 76 million, while Asia is right after, with the number of 75 million migrants. Northern America has around 54 million migrants, while that number in Africa is 21 million, Latin America and the Caribbean 9 million and Oceania with 8 million of international migrants. The numbers are more than devastating, considering the fact that not all of these people decided to migrate because they wanted to, but because they were searching for better conditions, leaving their families behind them in most cases.

On the contrary to the number of legal immigrants within one country, it is really hard to find the relevant and specific data on the number of illegal immigrants, since it can never be 100% accurate. This is the biggest reason why I decided to organize my list in this manner; I ranked the countries according to the number of legal immigrants, additionally providing the number of illegal ones where applicable. I gave myself freedom to do so since the countries who count the biggest number of legal immigrants are in most cases the countries that also have a huge number of illegals. I could go and mix these two data, but I realized it would simply make bigger confusion and eventually nothing would be clear and relevant. The exact number of legal immigrants was provided by the 2015 report from the United Nations Populations Divisions on Foreign-Born population, while in order to deal with the number of illegal immigrants, I had to go through various websites, including official news portals from these countries and to read their reports and estimations.

So, let’s see what are the countries that have the most legal and illegal immigrants.