U.S. is Seventh Best Country to Live as an Immigrant, Sweden and Canada Take First and Second Place

Josh Lowe
U.S. is Seventh Best Country to Live as an Immigrant, Sweden and Canada Take First and Second Place

Updated | A global ranking of the best places to live as an immigrant has placed Sweden above Canada and Switzerland, with the U.S. in seventh place behind Australia, Germany and Norway.

The U.S. has also dropped three places in the overall best countries in the world, coming in at seventh place in 2017 compared to fourth place a year earlier.

The rankings have been compiled by American website U.S. News, which surveyed 21,000 people across the globe. Respondents were asked how much they associated countries with a number of statements, four of which were: "economically stable," "good job market," "income equality" and "is a place I would live."

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For the immigration rankings, they also looked at the share of migrants in a country’s population, the amount of money migrants in each place were able to send home, and U.N. rankings of integration policies in different countries. Sweden topped the poll, followed by Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Norway and the United States.

In the overall best country rankings, Switzerland topped the poll, followed by Canada, the U.K., Germany, Japan, Sweden and then the U.S.

The U.K., often considered attractive to immigrants because of its strong jobs market and recent economic stability, only came in at number 17, the ranking’s authors said, because the UN considers it one of only six countries in the study to pursue immigration policies designed purely to benefit the native population.

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Tunisia, Guatemala and Kenya ranked at the bottom of the 80 countries in the list.

The research comes after a June report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that urged developed nations to work hard to integrate immigrants to the mutual benefit of host and origin countries.

“All our evidence points to the fact that migration, if well managed, brings benefits to host countries as well as to the migrants themselves<” Angel Gurría, the OECD’s Secretary-General, said in June.

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“We should look at this mega trend in terms of the opportunities it brings, in terms of skills, diversity and economic potential, rather than as a threat to our economies and communities.”

Correction: The headline of this piece was amended on 10 July to reflect the fact that the U.S. is seventh in the rankings of best country for immigrants, not sixth.

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