Immigration Reform: Who dreams of coming to America?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Reforming Immigration Policy
COMING TO AMERICA: The most famous African author of the 20th Century, Nigerian Chinua Achebe never dreamed of moving to the United States and resisted coming for many years. Nevertheless, he lived here on and off in recent decades—the first time after the tragic Nigerian civil war in which Achebe backed the unsuccessful bid to create an independent Biafra. The United States represented a safe haven and an important global pulpit for Achebe’s messages. When he died on March 21 at age 82, he was living in Boston. Photo by Stuart C. Shapiro released for public use via Wikimedia Commons.

COMING TO AMERICA: The most famous African author of the 20th Century, Nigerian Chinua Achebe never dreamed of moving to the United States and resisted coming for many years. Nevertheless, he lived here on and off in recent decades—the first time after the tragic Nigerian civil war in which Achebe backed the unsuccessful bid to create an independent Biafra. The United States represented a safe haven and an important global pulpit for Achebe’s messages. When he died on March 21 at age 82, he was living in Boston. Photo by Stuart C. Shapiro released for public use via Wikimedia Commons.

WHO still wants to come?

That’s today’s question and reflects the popular image of immigration as a veritable flood of people from around the world who would move to America if they could.

First, is that image accurate? Do millions of people around the world dream of coming to America?

Gallup’s worldwide survey of 154 nations found: About 13% of the world’s adult population would like to move permanently to another country. That’s about 630 million who would like to emigrate.

What’s the Number One preferred destination? Yes, it is the United States. An estimated 138 million adults would like to move permanently to America. That’s equal to 44% of the current population of the United States.

But the U.S. is not the only dream destination: Other favored destinations include the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Australia.

In raw numbers, China, Nigeria, India, and Brazil would be the biggest “suppliers” of migrants to the United States. Gallup estimates that 48 million people from these four nations would like to relocate permanently to America.

There are four countries where 25% or more of the total adult population would like to move here permanently. Over one-third (37%) of adults in Liberia would like to move to the United States, 30% of adults in Sierra Leone, 28% of adults in Dominican Republic, and 25% from Haiti.

Are you surprised by these findings?

Does this information shape your views on immigration reform?

What’s your story of immigration?

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