25 Most Diverse Countries in the World

What are the most diverse countries in the world? All 7.8 billion people on the planet make this world diverse. Languages, cultures, beliefs, race, and other characteristics differentiate people. Despite all the differences, several ethnic groups live together in different countries. In a relatively short period, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries have seen major societal shifts. In 2016, 59 percent of people aged 55 to 64 were employed. The number reduced to 48 percent in 2000. Almost one out of every ten persons in the OECD countries is foreign-born, and more than a quarter of those in the younger cohorts (15 to 34 years old) are foreign-born or native-born kids of immigrants. One of the main reasons behind this is companies like Meta Platforms, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), and Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) that are promoting diversity in workspaces by roping in the skilled workforce from all across the globe.

According to the 18th Annual Global Survey conducted by PwC, 85 percent of CEOs stated that having a diverse and inclusive workforce boosted their bottom line. Delivering through diversity, McKinsey’s latest workplace diversity study reinforces the global applicability of the link between diversity – defined as a higher proportion of women and a more diverse ethnic and cultural composition in large corporate leadership – and financial performance. According to McKinsey’s research, a country’s financial performance can be improved by having a diversified workforce. Schools and classrooms with a varied student body provide social, cognitive, and emotional benefits. Furthermore, living in a diverse community can have a good impact on an individual’s identity and interactions with others.

Countries like Norway, United States, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Thailand, etc. are all considered among the most diverse countries in the world. Big companies such as Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), and Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) are all focusing on a more enabling environment for people of all races and ethnicities which bodes well not just for the companies, but for the world as a whole. 

How do we know which are the most diverse countries in the world? Here’s how:

Most Diverse Countries In the World

Our Methodology

To assess and measure diversity across countries, Oxford Economics developed a unique global ranking model based on a weighted composite index. We used Employee Diversity Weighted Index from the link given above to rank countries. Gender, age, race, disability, citizenship status, skills and knowledge, number of working hours, language, and geographical distribution are all factors considered in the index. The index had been compiled using data from the World Bank, SIL International, FTSE, US Census Bureau, UK’s National Statistics, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and International Labor Organization.

Here is a list of the 25 most diverse countries in the world, ranked from least to most diverse.

25 Most Diverse Countries in the World

25. Thailand

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.48

Thailand has long been a multicultural country with individuals of various racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Although statistics on income disparities are hard to come by, Thailand has laws ensuring wage equality, albeit there have been disagreements over how women’s retirement ages should be determined. Thailand has strict legislation prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ individuals in employment and housing, but gender transition is still prohibited.

24. Belgium

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.49

Belgium has a diversified population with many different cultures and races. The Brussels-Capital Region diversity charter, developed in partnership with the Union of Enterprises in Brussels (UEB) and the Ministry of the Brussels-Capital Region, commits organizations to implement a diversity plan, a set of concrete measures to promote diversity within their organization.

23. Germany

Employee Diversity Weighted Index:0.49

Lifestyle variety and ethnocultural diversity are important factors in shaping German society. In contrast to sectors such as business services, wholesale, and retail, German workers in the telecom and IT service industry scored their diversity policies relatively highly, according to a Statista report on Diversity and Equality in European Organizations published in 2019.

22. Indonesia

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.49

There are around 300 ethnic and linguistic groups in Indonesia. Java was home to half of the population and two-thirds of all Indonesians, accounting for 7% of the country’s total land area. With the launch of the Indonesia Business and Disability Network (IBDN) in December 2016, Indonesia has taken another step towards better inclusivity.

21. Spain

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.49

Since 2019, native-born Spanish citizens of all ethnic groups account for 84.6 percent of the overall population, while immigrants, both naturalized and foreign, account for 15.4 percent. Four million foreigners are registered in Spain, accounting for 10% of the country’s population of 46.7 million people.

20. Austria

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.50

Historic minorities such as the Magyars, Czechs, and Slovaks are recognized in Austria. Historical events affected political discussions and regulations on equal treatment for migrants and ethnic groups, lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, the elderly, and those with disabilities, making the country one of the most diverse countries in the world.

19. Finland

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.50

For a long time in Finland, the economic inequality amongst inhabitants has been moderate. There are many recognized national minorities in Finland, which are recognized in legislation and receive group-specific services. The most prevalent D&I actions made by respondents in Finland were employment engagement surveys (86 percent), code of conduct (74 percent), and evaluating diverse demographics in the organization (64 percent).

18. Ireland

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.51

Ireland currently has a majority of “White Irish” people accounting for 94.1 percent of the population. According to a 2018 ESRI study, black non-Irish persons are less than half (0.4 times) as likely to be employed as white Irish people, and they are five times more likely to face prejudice when looking for work. Despite this, Ireland is considered a diverse country hosting a range of ethnicities and people from varied backgrounds.

17. United Kingdom

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.51

In 2018, 13.8 percent of the UK population belonged to a minority ethnic group, with 40.2 percent of Londoners belonging to the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) group. The employment rate for ethnic minorities is 62.8%, compared to 75.6 percent for white workers – a difference of more than 12%.

16. Estonia

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.51

Estonia is a multicultural country with 192 different nationalities (69% of the population are Estonians) and a strong cultural identity, with a population of less than 1.4 million people. Around 91 percent of corporations have a board of directors made up entirely of other nationalities, leaving only 9% of enterprises with Estonians on the board.

15. Singapore

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.53

Over 1.1 million foreigners live and work in Singapore, accounting for nearly a third of the 3.4 million-strong workforce. In addition, Singapore is home to over 7,000 global corporations, making it a true melting pot of cultures. Singapore’s workplaces are intrinsically diverse, notably in terms of culture and ethnicity, due to the diverse population that lives and works here.

14. Latvia

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.53

According to government data from 2016, the Latvian population, which accounts for 61.8 percent of the overall population, has increased somewhat. Russians are the largest minority ethnic group (25.6 percent) in Latvia. From the time Latvia ratified the Convention in 2007, it has served as the foundation for the advancement of a diverse and inclusive national and cultural policy. Ranging from the “State Cultural Policy Guidelines (2006-2015”, calling for a more incorporated concept of cultural policy planning and implementation, to the new guidelines “Creative Latvia 2014-2020,” which has as its core diverse and sustainable cultural policy, the country welcomes diversity of all forms.

13. Denmark

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.53

Almost 90% of Denmark’s population is of Danish ancestry, defined as having at least one parent born in the country and holding Danish citizenship. The remaining 10% are immigrants or offspring of recent immigrants. According to the data from 2021, 86 percent of Denmark’s population of over 5,840,045 was of Danish origin, defined as having at least one parent born in Denmark and holding Danish citizenship. The remaining 14% had a foreign ancestry, classified as recent immigrants or offspring of recent immigrants.

12. Argentina

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.54

The majority of Argentines are descended from multiple European ethnic groups, with Italian roots accounting for more than 55 percent of the population. Spanish is the second most common ethnicity. Argentina is, overall, a safe country for people of various ethnicities. However, transgender workers continue to experience significant discrimination, which has left 95 percent of the group unemployed.

11. Israel

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.56

More than 15 diverse cultures coexist in Israel, each with its own set of traditions and ancestral roots. Over 75% of Israelis are descended from Jewish ancestors. The number of Israeli Arabs in the workforce has increased from 2.4 to 5 percent among the evaluated enterprises, while the percentage of people with disabilities has increased from 0.5 to 2 percent.

10. Sweden

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.56

Sweden has become very culturally diverse, particularly in urban areas, as a result of high rates of immigration and an influx of employees from other regions of the world. It is believed that 11% of Sweden’s current population was born outside of the nation which is why we have included it on our list of most diverse countries in the world.

9. United States

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.57

One out of every ten chief executives in the United States belongs to ethnic minorities. While Whites make up 78% of the labor force in the US, the three major ethnic minority groups including Hispanics, African Americans, or Asians are also huge in number. Because of a consistent increase in numbers, groups that have traditionally been considered “minorities” in the United States will get majority status by 2044, according to the Census Bureau.

8. The Philippines

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.59

The Philippines is a country with a wide range of cultures, has over a hundred dialects, and a diverse ethnic population. Many Filipinos are devout believers as over 80% of the people are Catholic. The workforce is becoming more multinational and it is not unusual to see people of many races walking alongside Filipino employees to their respective offices these days in the country.

7. Canada

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.60

A total of 6,264,800 persons in Canada belong to a visible minority group, accounting for 19.1% of the total population. In 2018, 23.6 percent of Canada’s population was born outside of the country, the highest percentage among the G8 countries. Workplace diversity and inclusion are no longer optional; these are now mandatory for businesses.

6. The Netherlands

Employee Diversity Weighted Index: 0.60

During the last few decades, Dutch society has become increasingly diversified. People of non-western origin make a significant portion of the Netherlands ‘ population. The number of projects for ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ (D&I) in the Netherlands has increased dramatically in the last year, as has the number of associated employment positions.

In addition to countries like the Netherlands, major companies including Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), and Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) are also becoming more diverse amid a global push for inclusivity.

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