Immigrant Population in Asia

Asia has some of the lowest and highest immigrant populations in the world.

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Immigrant population in Asia.

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A while back, we showed you a map of the immigrant population in Europe. Now, let’s have a closer look at Asia.

When it comes to immigration, there are some very strong differences in Asia. It has some of the countries with the highest, but also lowest immigrant populations in the world.

The highest percentages of foreign-born people can be found in the Middle East. In particular in the UAE (87.9%), Qatar (78.7%) and Kuwait (72.1%). These three countries also make it into the global top 5. All of them are just behind the Vatican, where 100% of its citizens are born abroad.

China has the lowest percentage of foreign-born citizens in Asia (0.07%). Globally, only Cuba has a lower percentage (0.04%). Vietnam is the only other country that has an immigrant population of less than 0.1% (0.08%). Indonesia is third in Asia and 5th globally with 0.13%.

You’re probably wondering, who are those people that migrate to North Korea? The majority of them are Chinese and a smaller group of South Koreans. China is the only country that has normal economic ties with North Korea. This could explain the large number of Chinese migrants, that work for or own Chinese businesses that operate or trade with North Korea. For the South Koreans, my guess is that they moved there before or right after the Korean War.

The data comes from the United Nations. As Taiwan is rarely included in UN data, I decided to gather the data for Taiwan from its National Migration Agency.


  1. Comparing “foreign-born people” for the Gulf States to “foreign-born citizens” in other countries does not make sense.


    1. Can you elaborate why foreign born citizens in the Gulf States should be treated differently on this map from every other country in the world?


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