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London, 20 January 2014 - According to a new research report published by Finaccord, the total number of expatriates worldwide amounted to around 50.5 million in 2013. This figure has grown at a compound annual rate of 2.4% since 2009, given that there were around 46.0 million expatriates in that year. By 2017, Finaccord forecasts that the number will reach around 56.8 million.
Based on a comprehensive analysis of national and international sources in order to estimate the number, nationality and type of expatriates, Finaccord's research shows that the total expatriate population worldwide has also grown in relative terms.
Specifically, the percentage of the total worldwide population that was composed of expatriates increased from around 0.68% in 2009 to 0.72% in 2013 and is forecast to rise to 0.77% by 2017. Moreover, the relative size of the expatriate population within the total worldwide immigrant population, as defined by the UN, also grew from 21.2% in 2009 to 21.8% in 2013, and is predicted to increase further to 23.4% by 2017.
"Global mobility has increased significantly over the past decade and expatriates constitute a large and diverse market", comments Tobias Schneider, a Consultant at Finaccord. "In order to fully describe this market, Finaccord has developed the first ever comprehensive and standardised analysis of expatriates worldwide that provides a consistent segmentation of expatriates. According to this analysis, the majority of expatriates in 2013 were classifiable as individual workers (73.6%) followed by students (8.8%), retired expatriates (3.7%) and corporate transferees (1.0%), with the balance of other expatriates (defined as non-employed spouses and children) making up the residual 12.8%."
Moreover, Finaccord forecasts that students will constitute the most rapidly growing category of expatriates worldwide between 2013 and 2017, increasing at a compound annual rate of 3.6%, followed by individual workers (3.2%), retired expatriates (2.9%), corporate transferees (2.8%) and other expatriates (2.3%).
Across 30 important inbound countries investigated (i.e. destination countries for expatriates), Saudi Arabia hosted the largest number of expatriates in 2013, followed by the UAE and the US, while the smallest expatriate population was resident in Poland, followed by Portugal and Sweden. Saudi Arabia also had the largest expatriate population as a percentage of its total immigrant population, at 98.4%, while expatriates made up the largest percentage of the total population in Qatar, at 70.9%. Meanwhile, across 25 major outbound countries researched (i.e. expatriate countries of origin), India generated by far the largest group of expatriates resident abroad in 2013, followed by China and the UK.