December 5, 2022

Economix: Less Interest in Leaving Home

Fewer residents of the world are trying to get out of Dodge, according to Gallup.

The polling organization found that 14 percent of the world’s adults would be interested in migrating to another country if they could. That is down from the 16 percent of adults with the same desire in 2007.

The numbers are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with 401,490 adults in 146 countries from 2008 to 2010, and 259,542 adults in 135 countries from 2007 to 2009.

Residents of every area of the world except North America and the European Union decreased their desire to emigrate:


The biggest decline was in sub-Saharan Africa, although the share of people there wanting to move is still high: 33 percent in 2008-10, versus 38 percent in 2007-9.

Perhaps these declines are signs of improving economic and political conditions in the developing world. Gallup’s analysts, however, suggest that instead the trends may be explained by greater economic uncertainty worldwide, which would make emigration riskier than usual.

For those who did say they wanted to leave their homelands, the most desirable country to move to is the United States, where about a quarter of emigrant-wannabes would choose to land. The next most pined-for destinations are the United Kingdom and Canada. The top non-Western destination, a few places down, is Saudi Arabia.


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