Countries That Accept the Most Migrants
The U.S. and NATO military withdrawal from Afghanistan is putting a spotlight once again on the dire humanitarian conditions in the country, as thousands seek to flee with the onset of Taliban rule.
U.N. officials are now warning that the withdrawal is triggering a new wave of Afghan refugees, both within the country and abroad, as thousands of people are scrambling to get aboard flights leaving the nation.
The U.N. applies separate definitions for “refugee” and “migrant.” The organization strictly defines a refugee as a person fleeing persecution in her or his country of origin. As 2020 closed out, the U.N. estimated a total of 82.4 million people forcibly displaced around the world, 26.4 million of whom are labeled as refugees and another 4.1 million as asylum-seekers.
And while there is no universally accepted definition for migrant, the U.N. defines a migrant as being a person who lacks citizenship in her or his host country. Migration flows stabilized in 2018 and 2019, and then decreased dramatically in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the most recent OECD report.
Here is a look at the 10 OECD member countries that accepted the most migrants — which includes foreign nationals moving to the country as well as those already there on a permanent basis. The most recent data for all OECD member countries is from 2018. Also listed is the number of people who filed applications seeking asylum in those countries.
Updated on Aug. 24, 2021 from its last publication date on Dec. 18, 2019
No. 10: Italy
Notably, the country received 53,440 asylum applications from around the world in 2018, a 58% drop from the 126,560 people it granted asylum in 2017.
No. 9: Canada
Canada received 321,045 migrants in 2018, a 12% increase from the previous year. That figure was bolstered by U.N. data showing the country accepted more refugees in 2018 than any other country, including the United States.
The North American country also recorded a 12% increase in the number of asylum applications received in 2018 — 55,383 — compared to the 49,425 approved in 2017.
No. 8: Chile
Chile received 5,784 applications for asylum in 2018, a 2% increase from 2017.
No. 7: Turkey
Turkey, which already hosts one of the largest Syrian refugee populations in the world, is reportedly bolstering its border with Iran to prevent the wave of Afghan refugees from entering the country. It received 466,890 migrants in 2018, a 28% jump from the number it accepted in 2017.
The country also received 83,818 asylum applications in 2018, a 32% decline from the 123,597 asylum-seekers it allowed the previous year.
No. 6: United Kingdom
Additionally, the country received 37,365 asylum applications in 2018, a 12% increase from 2017.
No. 5: South Korea
The country also received 16,147 applications for asylum in 2018, a 62% jump from the number filed in 2017.
No. 4: Japan
Additionally, the country received 10,493 applications seeking asylum in 2018, a 45% decrease from the number of applications received the previous year.
No. 3: Spain
The European nation also received 52,745 individual asylum applications into the country, a 73% increase from the previous year. The sharp majority of applications came from across Latin America, including Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras and El Salvador.
No. 2: United States
Additionally, the country received 254,300 applications from individuals seeking asylum in 2018, a 23% decrease from 2017.
No. 1: Germany
Germany received 1,383,580 new migrants into the country in 2018, by far the largest number by any OECD member country. The number of new migrants arriving in the country that year was just 438 fewer than in 2017, but a substantial reduction of the more than 2 million new migrants who arrived in the country in 2015.
The country also received 161,930 applications from individuals seeking asylum, a roughly 2% decrease from the previous year.
Countries That Accept the Most Migrants
2. United States
5. South Korea
6. United Kingdom
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The 2021 Best Countries rankings, formed in partnership with BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, are based on a study that surveyed more than 17,000 global citizens from four regions to assess perceptions of 78 countries on 76 different metrics.
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