Country Profile

Canada

In Canada there are four categories of immigrants: family class (closely related persons of Canadian residents living in Canada), economic immigrants (skilled workers and business people), refugees (people who are escaping persecution, torture or cruel and unusual punishment), and the humanitarian and other category (people accepted as immigrants for humanitarian or compassionate reasons). In 2016, Canada admitted 296,346 permanent residents, vs. 271,845 admitted the previous year — the highest admissions levels since 2010. Of those admitted, 53% were economic immigrants and their accompanying immediate families; 26% were family class; 20% were either resettled refugees or protected persons; and 1% were in the humanitarian and other category. 

USA

Immigration to the United States is the international movement of non-U.S. nationals in order to reside permanently in the country. Lawful Immigration has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the U.S. history. Because the United States is a settler colonial society, all Americans, with the exception of the small percent of Native Americans, can trace their ancestry to immigrants from other nations around the world.

In absolute numbers, the United States has a larger immigrant population than any other country, with 47 million immigrants as of 2015. This represents 19.1% of the 244 million international migrants worldwide, and 14.4% of the U.S. population. Many other countries have large proportions of immigrants, such as Switzerland with 24.9%and Canada with 21.9%.

Australia

 Immigration to Australia began when the ancestors of Australian Aborigines arrived on the continent via the islands of Maritime Southeast Asia and New Guinea.

Permanent European settlement began in 1788 with the establishment of a British penal colony in New South Wales. From early federation in 1901, Australia maintained the White Australia policy, which was abolished after World War II. Since 1945, more than 7 million people have settled in Australia. From the late 1970s, there was a significant increase in immigration from Asian and other non-European countries, making Australia a multicultural country.

Europe

 Immigration to Europe has a long history, but increased substantially in the later 20th century.

Western European countries, especially, saw a high growth in immigration after World War II and many European nations today (particularly those of the EU-15) have sizeable immigrant populations, both of European and non-European origin. In contemporary globalization, migrations to Europe have accelerated in speed and scale. Over the last decades, there has been an increase in negative attitudes towards immigration, and many studies have emphasized marked differences in the strength of anti-immigrant attitudes among European countries.

Beginning in 2004, the European Union has granted EU citizens a freedom of movement and residence within the EU, and the term "immigrant" has since been used to refer to non EU citizens, meaning that EU citizens are not to be defined as immigrants within the EU territory. The European commission defines "immigration" as the action by which a person from a non-EU country establishes his or her usual residence in the territory of an EU country for a period that is, or is expected to be, at least twelve months. Between 2010 and 2013, around 1.4 million non-EU nationals, excluding asylum seekers and refugees, immigrated into the EU each year using regular means, with a slight decrease since 2010.

UK

 Since 1945, immigration to the United Kingdom under British nationality law has been significant, in particular from the Republic of Ireland and from the former British Empire especially India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Caribbean, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Hong Kong. Other immigrants have come as asylum seekers, seeking protection as refugees under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, or from member states of the European Union, exercising one of the European Union's Four Freedoms

About 70% of the population increase between the 2001 and 2011 censuses was due to foreign-born immigration. 7.5 million people (11.9% of the population at the time) were born overseas, although the census gives no indication of their immigration status or intended length of stay.

Provisional figures show that in 2013, 526,000 people arrived to live in the UK whilst 314,000 left, meaning that net inward migration was 212,000. The number of people immigrating to the UK increased between 2012 and 2013 by 28,000, whereas the number emigrating fell by 7,000.

From April 2013 to April 2014, a total of 560,000 immigrants were estimated to have arrived in the UK, including 81,000 British citizens and 214,000 from other parts of the EU. An estimated 317,000 people left, including 131,000 British citizens and 83,000 other EU citizens. The top countries represented in terms of arrivals were: China, India, Poland, the United States, and Australia.

Asia

Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.