Young, Less Educated Yearn to Migrate to the U.S. Canada more attractive to older, more educated adults by Neli Esipova, Julie Ray, and Rajesh Srinivasan WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fifteen countries attract about 500 million of the roughly 700 million adults worldwide who say they would like to relocate permanently to another country if they could. Gallup finds the U.S. is clearly the No. 1 desired destination among these potential migrants, with more than 165 million saying they would like to move there, and neighboring Canada is a distant second with 45 million.
Gallup's findings on adults' desire to move to other countries are based on interviews with 347,713 adults across multiple surveys in 148 countries between 2007 and 2009. The 148 countries represent more than 95% of the world's adult population.
Together, the number of potential migrants who would like to move to the United States, which represents 24% of adults who would like to move overall, and Canada, which represents 7%, make Northern America the most desired region to move to in the world. But individually, both countries appeal to people from different parts of the world. Gallup finds the U.S. appeals more to the youngest and least educated adults, while those who choose Canada are on average slightly older and more educated.
These differences may partly reflect the emphasis each country's immigration policy places on different categories of migrants.