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Global Expatriates: Size, Segmentation and Forecast for the Worldwide Market

The total number of expatriates worldwide amounted to around 50.5 million in 2013 with Saudi Arabia hosting the highest number and India 'exporting' the most

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.

"The number of expatriates in the GCC states – mainly individual workers from Asian countries – has increased at an enormous pace in recent years as these economies are heavily dependent on the inflow of foreign workers", concludes Tobias Schneider. "In contrast, in other countries such as the UK and the US international students constitute a comparatively large proportion of the total expatriate population whilst Spain still attracts many retired expatriates, although this number has itself fallen since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008."

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Media contact: Roberto Napolitano, +44 (0)20 3178 2556, .

Notes to editors:

Finaccord is a market research, publishing and consulting company specialising in financial services. It provides its clients with insight into and information about major issues in financial services in the UK, Europe and major global markets, with a particular focus on marketing and distribution topics such as affinity marketing, bancassurance and strategic alliances.

Global Expatriates: Size, Segmentation and Forecast for the Worldwide Market is a report and interactive ExpatriateBASE™ dataset that provides an overview of the size and segmentation of the global expatriate population. Including data rounded up for the world as a whole, this is based primarily on a detailed analysis for 30 inbound and 25 outbound countries, selected on the basis of their economic importance and significance in the context of the expatriate market.

Sample graphics from the research, showing first the total worldwide expatriate population, segmented by purpose, 2009 and 2013 with forecast to 2017, and secondly the size of the worldwide expatriate population relative to both the total worldwide population and the worldwide immigrant population, 2009 and 2013 with forecast to 2017.

Note that Finaccord defines expatriates as individuals who establish their residence in the territory of another country for a temporary period that is, or is expected to be, of at least 12 months and a maximum of five years, having previously been resident in another country. Meanwhile, the total immigrant population is defined as the total of all individuals resident in a country other than their country of current residence regardless of the duration and purpose of their stay. However, note that the definitions of immigrants as reported in statistics compiled by the UN (United Nations) can vary.

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