Immigrants Are Us

A United Nations Report on international migration reported that Indians are the largest migrant group in the world.


A United Nations Report on international migration reported that Indians are the largest migrant group in the world. The report estimated the worldwide Indian immigrant population at more than 14 million. But that counts only India-born Indians living abroad. An even larger group of people of Indian origin (PIOs) were born overseas.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs estimates the foreign born Indian population as being larger than the Non Resident Indian (NRI) one, but even it grossly undercounts both groups.

The official Indian estimate is approximately 10 million NRIs and 12 million PIOs for a total population of almost 22 million. The more accurate figure is likely 14 million NRIs (which the UN estimates) and 16 million PIOs. For instance, the ministry estimates the Indian American population at 2.25 million, far short of the almost 3.5 million U.S. Census Bureau estimate in 2013.

There are almost 231 million migrants worldwide. By any measure Indians are the by far largest migrant group. Fittingly perhaps, the United States is the largest host country globally. In fact almost 1 in 5 immigrant — almost 46 million — lives in the United States. And the pace of migration is accelerating — expanding by almost one-third since 2000 alone. Migration from India accelerated even faster, from 8 million to 14 million — a growth of 75 percent since 2000.

Indians are the most financially successful ethnic group in the United States with a household income that is almost 1.5 times that of Whites. Increasingly, Indian immigration is transforming from laborers to professionals in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Europes.

The overseas Indian community has the potential to be a powerful force in global economics. Are we we up to the task?

Overseas Indian Population

USA 2245239
Malaysia 2050000
Saudi Arabia 1789000
UAE 1750000
Sri Lanka 1601600
UK 1500000
South Africa 1218000
Canada 1000000
Mauritius 882220
Oman 718642
Singapore 670000
Nepal 600000
Kuwait 579390
Trinidad 551500
Qatar 500000
Australia 448430
Myanmar 356560
Bahrain 350000
Guyana 320200
Fiji 313798
Reunion 275200
Netherlands 215000
Thailand 150000
Suriname 140300
Yemen 111000
New Zealand 110000
Italy 99127
Portugal 80000
Israel 78000
Kenya 75000
Germany 70500
France 65000
Tanzania 54700
Jamaica 53500
Philippines 50000
Hong Kong 37250
Indonesia 36050
Bhutan 33010

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