/ By Hugo O’Doherty
Canada has been ranked as the top country outside Europe, and the second-best country worldwide, to live as an immigrant. Only Sweden is ranked higher than Canada.
U.S. News and World Report, which compiled the ranking, assesses 80 countries based on their economic stability, income equality, and labour markets in order to create its lists. Thousands of business leaders and members of the public are consulted in order for the ranking to be compiled.
On this occasion, the United States was ranked in seventh place, behind Norway.
Although Canada was pipped to the number 1 position by Sweden, the immigration project launched by U.S. News and World Report is part of an overall attempt to determine the world’s “best” countries based on a range economic and social attributes. In that overall ranking, Canada also ranks in second place, but Sweden comes in sixth, showing Canada’s strength across a wider range of assessment factors.
For the immigration rankings, U.S. News and World Report looked at the share of migrants in a country’s population, the amount of money migrants in each country were able to send abroad, and United Nations rankings of integration policies in different countries, among other factors. Canada was given strong marks not only for its healthy economy but also integration measures for immigrants, such as language training.
Interestingly, Canada comes out in first place when assessed under the Education factor. The report notes that primary and secondary education in Canada is free and mandatory, and that Canada’s de-centralized federation allows provinces to provide structure to the education system at a more localized level. Students in Canada score above average on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment.
The top 10 positions in the immigration list were dominated by European and North American countries:
- United States
Canada is ranked higher than other countries that have broadly similar ‘Expression of Interest’ economic immigration systems, such as Australia and New Zealand (in Canada, this system is known as Express Entry). Canada is also ranked higher than countries that share a similar climate, such as Finland and Norway. In addition, countries that have mixed market economies similar to Canada’s, such as the United States, are overall a worse bet for immigrants.
“Our aim with this package was to focus on the economic aspects of immigration and the impacts this could have on a country’s perceived standing in the world,” said Deidre McPhillips, a data reporter who helped design the rankings.
The research comes after an OECD report published in June, in which developed nations were urged 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,” stated Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
“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.”