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

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According to a new research report published by Finaccord, the total number of expatriates worldwide amounted to around 66.2 million in 2017. This figure has grown at a compound annual rate of 5.8% since 2013, given that there were around 52.8 million expatriates in that year. By 2021, Finaccord forecasts that the number will reach around 87.5 million.

This total is composed of several different types of expatriate, who can play very different roles in their host countries. Across 30 important inbound countries investigated (i.e. destination countries for expatriates), Saudi Arabia hosted the largest number of expatriates in 2017, followed by the UAE and Germany; in the UAE, expatriates made up 87.8% of the total population, which is the highest of these 30 countries.

"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", comments David Bowles, a Consultant at Finaccord. "In contrast, in other countries such as the UK and the US, international students, especially from China, constitute a comparatively high proportion of the total expatriate population, while the US and Spain attract the most retired expatriates, chiefly Canadians retiring to the US, and British or German residents retiring to Spain."

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 2017, with the GCC states a major destination, followed by China and Canada.

Based on a comprehensive analysis of national and international sources 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 is composed of expatriates increased from around 0.75% in 2013 to 0.90% in 2017 and is forecast to rise to 1.13% by 2021. Moreover, the relative size of the expatriate population within the total worldwide immigrant population, as defined by the UN, has also grown from 24.4% in 2013 to 25.7% in 2017, and is predicted to increase further to 28.5% by 2021.

"Global mobility has increased significantly over the past decade and expatriates constitute a large and diverse market", concludes David Bowles. "In order to fully describe this market, Finaccord has developed an updated comprehensive and standardised analysis of expatriates worldwide that provides a consistent segmentation of expatriates. According to this analysis, the majority of expatriates in 2017 were classifiable as individual workers (71.1%) followed by students (8.5%), retired expatriates (5.2%) and corporate and other transferees (1.0%), with the balance of other expatriates (defined as non-employed spouses and children) making up the residual 14.1%."

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Media contact: Amandas Ong, +44 (0)20 3178 2556, [email protected]

Notes to editors:

Finaccord is a market research, publishing and consulting company specialising in financial services that is part of Aon Inpoint, Aon Risk Solutions, a business unit of Aon plc (NYSE: AON). It provides its clients with insight into and information about major issues in financial services around the world, 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.

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. 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.

Sample graphic from the research, showing the size of the worldwide expatriate population relative to both the total worldwide population and the worldwide immigrant population, 2013 and 2017 with forecast to 2021.