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The USA has the Most Immigrants

The UN's Population Division, 24/7 Wall St. identified the eight nations with the highest total number of international migrants living inside their borders as of this year. These are the countries with the most immigrants. Several of the nations with the highest migrant populations are also among the world's most populous. Both the U.S., and Russia are all among the 10 most populous countries in the world. Five of the eight nations are among the world's 30 most populous nations.

According to the UN, the governments of Saudi Arabia, France, the United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates all promoted policies aimed at lowering the level of immigration into their countries, as of 2011. Only one of these nations, Russia, actively promoted immigration into their country as of 2011.

Most of these countries maintain different, more-accommodating policies for high-skilled workers than for most other potential immigrants. 

One reason for the disparity between policy and migration rates is that some nations are more appealing to potential immigrants than others. The U.S.'s GDP per capita was more than $49,900 in 2012, among the highest in the world. All but one of the countries leading the world in immigrant population were among the top 30 countries in the world for per capita GDP in 2012.

These are the countries with the most immigrants:

1. United States of America

> Immigrants: 45.8 million

> Pct of population: 14.3%

> GDP (PPP) per capita 2012: $49,922

> Gov't immigration goals: Maintain

The U.S. is by far the largest destination for immigrants, with more than 45.7 million living in the country, according to the UN. As of 2011, the U.S. government's policies toward both immigration and emigration remained effectively neutral. However, immigration reform has been especially prominent in Congress this year. This reform is expected to address issues related to illegal immigration, while determining how, and whether, undocumented immigrants should be able to attain citizenship. Considering the U.S. has one the highest per capita GDPs in the world, at nearly $50,000, its appeal to immigrants is fairly straightforward. It is the world's largest economy, as measured by output, and has the second largest total exports. Also, the U.S. offers well-developed infrastructure and financial markets, as well as quality education.

2. Russian Federation

> Immigrants: 11.0 million

> Pct of population: 7.7%

> GDP (PPP) per capita 2012: $17,709

> Gov't immigration goals: Increase

More than 12 million immigrants lived in Russia in 2010 and the Russian government was among the few seeking to increase the number of foreigners entering the country. In 2011, the country's government viewed immigration as too low and oriented its policies towards increasing immigration. However, these policies have failed to attract more net immigrants: as of this year, there are just over 11 million immigrants living in Russia, a decrease of roughly 10% from 2010. Local authorities have not embraced the prospect of single-ethnicity communities for Chinese, Uzbeks, Tajiks and other ethnic groups in Russia ,and have even sought to ban them in some cases, hoping instead to promote integration into Russian society.

3. Germany

> Immigrants: 9.8 million

> Pct of population: 11.9%

> GDP (PPP) per capita 2012: $39,028

> Gov't immigration goals: Maintain

Germany, one of the world's largest economies, is a popular destination for immigrants. Its well-developed infrastructure and top-rate higher education only add to its attraction. Just under 10 milllion of the country's 82 million residents are immigrants. As of 2011, Germany's policies reflected approval of the country's rate of immigration. In 2012, with the eurozone crisis still unabated, a growing number of young workers immigrated from southern Europe to Germany. But Germany has openly recruited high skilled-workers to live and work in the country permanently, especially as the country's population ages and shrinks, according to Der Spiegel. Unfortunately, many such workers fail to stay for even as little as a year, and since 2010 the number of immigrants to Germany has actually dropped.

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