India is a top source and destination for world’s migrants

Source: Pew Research Center

BY

India has a long history of migration. More than a century ago, large numbers of Indian migrants – many of them involuntary ones – moved to Africa, the Caribbean and within the Indian subcontinent itself. Some of the top destinations of Indian migrants in more recent decades include Persian Gulf countries, North America and Europe. Here are five facts about India and migration.


  1. India is the top source of international migrants, with one-in-twenty migrants worldwide born in India. As of 2015, 15.6 million people born in India were living in other countries. India has been among the world’s top origin countries of migrants since the United Nations started tracking migrant origins in 1990. The number of international Indian migrants has more than doubled over the past 25 years, growing about twice as fast as the world’s total migrant population.

    Nearly half of India’s migrants are in just three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and the United States. About 3.5 million Indians live in the UAE, the top destination country for Indian migrants. Over the past two decades, millions of Indians have migrated there to find employment as laborers. Pakistan has the second-largest number of migrants, with 2 million.

    Almost 2 million more live in the U.S., making up the country’s third-largest immigrant group. Among Indian Americans, nearly nine-in-ten were born in India. As a whole, Indian Americans are among the highest educated and have some of the highest income among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

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