Sweden ranked best country to be an immigrant



Maria Gonzalez almost lost faith in the American Dream she was chasing when she moved to the U.S. with her husband about a year and a half ago.

She spoke very little English, didn't understand the culture and at 40 years old, felt that she had lost track of a successful career path in information technology that she had built in her home country of Venezuela.

"I came here and started from zero," she says. "But the U.S. is a country for opportunity, and people that want to come here don't need to feel afraid because this country still has doors open for anybody that wants to grow here."

With the help of language courses and career workshops through the Welcoming Center for New Pensylvanians, Gonzalez landed the first job she interviewed for. And last week, she got a raise – particularly good news for her mother and brother back in Venezuela, whom she supports with her salary.

The support that Gonzalez received, from cultural integration to stable work opportunities, are key to successful immigration.

The World Bank estimates that the world's nearly 250 million international migrants – at least three for every 100 people – sent $582 billion home to relatives in 2015.

Those funds are often lifelines for the family members receiving them; remittances power as much as 10 percent of the economy in home countries like the Philippines and Guatemala and nearly 20 percent in El Salvador and Jamaica.

The economic case for immigration is a strong one. A recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that weighed the costs and benefits found that immigration is a strong positive influence on long-term economic growth in the U.S.

And the public largely supports it, too. In a recent international poll, nearly 60 percent of global respondents said that their country should be more open to immigration. More than 40 percent agree that immigration is the most important issue for our world to solve, beating out other global concerns such as gender inequality.

But the rise of nationalist and protectionist movements put the future of immigration in question. The U.K.'s vote last year to leave the European Union will remove the country from the organization's open borders. Support for Germany's Angela Merkel dropped after she pledged to keep the country's borders open to migrants.

President Donald Trump's travel ban and plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border seem to rebut the promise the Statue of Liberty symbolizes since the late 19th century to protect the tired, poor and huddled masses.

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Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Pro-Trump demonstrators yell slogans during protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Ted Soqui
A counter demonstrator holds a sign up as protesters gather in Battery Park and march to the offices of Customs and Border Patrol in Manhattan to protest President Trump's Executive order imposing controls on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, January 29, 2017 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators watch from an overpass as a counter-protester holds a sign outside Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order blocking visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Court decisions temporarily blocked the U.S. administration from enforcing parts of Trump's order after a day in which students, refugees and dual citizens were stuck overseas or detained and some businesses warned employees from those countries not to risk leaving the United States. Photographer: Dania Maxwell/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A counter-protester, right, holds a sign and chants in front of other demonstrators outside Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order blocking visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Court decisions temporarily blocked the U.S. administration from enforcing parts of Trump's order after a day in which students, refugees and dual citizens were stuck overseas or detained and some businesses warned employees from those countries not to risk leaving the United States. Photographer: Dania Maxwell/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

A demonstrator in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rallies at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Police officers stand guard as demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Trump supporters demonstrate against a ruling by a federal judge in Seattle that grants a nationwide temporary restraining order against the presidential order to ban travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on February 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Arriving international travelers pass through a line of Trump supporters demonstrating against a ruling by a federal judge in Seattle that grants a nationwide temporary restraining order against the presidential order to ban travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on February 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Trump supporters argue with a man (R) who supports a ruling by a federal judge in Seattle that grants a nationwide temporary restraining order against the presidential order to ban travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on February 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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Despite hosting the most migrants in the world and serving as the source of the largest remittances, the U.S. ranks No. 7 in the U.S. News ranking of the Best Countries to Be an Immigrant.

Sweden, a strong social welfare state that has long been considered a haven for migrants, ranks No. 1. Canada is No. 2, while Switzerland, Australia and Germany round out the top five.

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Refugees in Sweden
VANERSBORG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 12: A refugee carries carpets before praying as he prepares the gym of the Sweden's largest temporary camp for rasylum seekers at the former psychiatric hospital Restad Gard on February 12, 2016 in Vanersborg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
VANERSBORG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 12: A refugee uses a branch to get his letters from the Swedish Migration Agency in the post office of the Sweden's largest temporary camp for refugges at the former psychiatric hospital Restad Gard on February 12, 2016 in Vanersborg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
VANERSBORG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 12: Refugees pray in the gym of the Sweden's largest temporary camp for refugges at the former psychiatric hospital Restad Gard on February 12, 2016 in Vanersborg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
VANERSBORG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 12: Refugees walk in the Sweden's largest temporary camp for refugges at the former psychiatric hospital Restad Gard on February 12, 2016 in Vanersborg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
VANERSBORG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 12: A refugee checks his mobile phone in the Sweden's largest temporary camp for refugges at the former psychiatric hospital Restad Gard on February 12, 2016 in Vanersborg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
VANERSBORG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 12: A refugee carries carpets before praying as he prepares the gym of the Sweden's largest temporary camp for rasylum seekers at the former psychiatric hospital Restad Gard on February 12, 2016 in Vanersborg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
VANERSBORG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 12: A sculpture depicting a tightrope walker is seen in the Sweden's largest temporary camp for refugges at the former psychiatric hospital Restad Gard on February 12, 2016 in Vanersborg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
VANERSBORG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 12: A refugee checks his mailbox to know if he has any letter from the Swedish Migration Agency in the post office of the Sweden's largest temporary camp for refugges at the former psychiatric hospital Restad Gard on February 12, 2016 in Vanersborg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
VANERSBORG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 12: Refugees pray in the gym of the Sweden's largest temporary camp for refugges at the former psychiatric hospital Restad Gard on February 12, 2016 in Vanersborg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
MYGGENAS, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 11: Dolls hang on a wall of a temporary house for asylum seekers at the Tjorn Bro Park holiday resort on February 11, 2016 in Myggenas, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
MYGGENAS, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 11: Ghaida, 26, of Syria checks her mobile phone in her shared temporary house at the Tjorn Bro Park holiday resort on February 11, 2016 in Myggenas, Sweden. Ghaida is an architect and she is waiting for her employment permit for more than one year. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
MYGGENAS, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 11: Ghaida, 26, of Syria leaves her shared temporary house at the Tjorn Bro Park holiday resort on February 11, 2016 in Myggenas, Sweden. Ghaida is an architect and she is waiting for her employment permit for more than one year. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
MYGGENAS, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 11: An abandoned house for boats is seen on February 11, 2016 in Myggenas, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 11: A boy skates on ice on February 11, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 11: two boys adjust their ice skates on February 11, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
KLADESHOLMEN, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 10: A refugee woman from Syria walks by the sea on February 10, 2016 in Kladesholmen, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
KLADESHOLMEN, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 10: Refugee women take pictures by the sea on February 10, 2016 in Kladesholmen, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
KLADESHOLMEN, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 10: Muhammed (L), 13, of Syria and Mahdi Ghafour, 6, of Afghanistan plays on a pier on February 10, 2016 in Kladesholmen, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
HALMSTAD, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 09: A child looks from the window of his barrack in an asylum seekers' temporary camp in the Strandparken Ostra Straden summer holidays resort on February 9, 2016 in Halmstad, Sweden. Swedish Migration Agency is struggling to accomodate its assylum seekers and it is helping with up to 500 Swedish Krona (53Euro) who can house refugees in houses susch a hotels, campings, holidays resorts or any empty building in good conditions. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
HALMSTAD, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 09: Little girls warm up during a handball training session organised by The Skolidrottsforbundet to help on the integration of migrants through sport activities on February 9, 2016 in Halmstad, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more than double the total in 2014. The country is struggling to house refugees in proper conditions during the harsh winter; summer holiday resorts, old schools and private buildings are being turned into temporary shelters for asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Sweden is facing new challenges on its migration policy after the massive arrival of refugees last year, forcing the country to drastically reduce the number of refugees passing through its borders. Stricter controls have had a significant effect on the number of arrivals, reducing weekly numbers from 10,000 to 800. The Swedish migration minister announced in January that the government will reject up to 80,000 refugees who applied for asylum last year, proposing strict new residency rules. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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To determine the Best Countries to Be an Immigrant, U.S. News assessed international perceptions of a country, as well as immigration policy and economic data.

More than 21,000 people from all regions of the world participated in the Best Countries survey, in which they assessed how closely they associated 80 countries with specific characteristics. Four of these – "economically stable," "good job market," "income equality" and "is a place I would live" – were included in the Best Countries to Be an Immigrant ranking.

Countries also were scored in relation to others on the share of migrants in their population; the amount of remittances the migrants they host sent home; and graded on a United Nations assessment of integration measures provided for immigrants, such as language training and transfers of job certifications, and the rationale behind current integration policies.

Scores for these eight factors on a 100-point scale were averaged together for an overall score.

The U.K. is one of six countries ranked – along with Saudi Arabia and Myanmar – that has immigration policies in place purely to protect the interests of nationals, according to the U.N. analysis. A score of zero in this factor brought the U.K. and its otherwise strong economy down to No. 17 in the ranking.

National policy doesn't always align with public priorities, though. More than half of survey respondents from the U.K. agreed that their country should be more open to immigration. Despite ranks in the bottom half, more than 80 percent of survey respondents in Egypt and 90 percent in Colombia said the same.

India and Pakistan, two of the most prominent source countries for migrants, rank in the bottom 10. Kenya ranks last.

See the full list of the Best Countries to Be an Immigrant here.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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