A country that’s teeming with immigrants

Here’s a multiple-choice question: Which country has the highest proportion of immigrants? (a) America.Immigration
Everybody wants to come to America, don’t they? (b) Canada. Even the Governor General is from Haiti. (c) Australia. Who wouldn’t want to live in such a beautiful country? (d) Switzerland. Every immigrant gets a free tote bag.

The answer, of course, is Australia, with Canada coming in second. If you answered "America," you’re probably getting your news from Lou Dobbs. But don’t feel bad. America does have the highest number of immigrants, but they make up only about 12 percent of the population, compared with 20 percent in Canada. That’s right: every fifth person in Canada was born in another country and does not spend every waking moment thinking about ice hockey.

So which is the top country of origin for Canadian immigrants? (a) America. Everybody wants to leave America, don’t they? (b) India. Exporting people is the country’s most effective population-control strategy. (c) United Kingdom. Beckham moved West, why not the rest? (d) China. Go to Toronto and you’ll find that even "Little India" has its own Chinatown.

The answer is United Kingdom, with China coming in second and India third. It’s going to be a long time before they take the Queen off Canadian money.

Photo by Phoebe

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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