India Has the Largest Outward Migrants In 2017: ADB Report

India had the most outward migrants in 2017 followed by China, and Bangladesh.


Most of the outbound migrants were from India in 2017, followed by China and Bangladesh, according to the Asian Economic Integration Report 2018 by the Asian Development Bank. The report further said as many as one-third of international migrants were from Asia last year.

The report shows that with 17 million, India had the most outward migrants in 2017, followed by China with 10 million, and Bangladesh with 7.5 million. The report also reveals that the outward migration in Asia has outpaced inward migration.

The report notes that the stock of international migrants worldwide increased by four percent from 247.7 million in 2015 to 257.7 million in 2017. Over the same period, the global stock of migrants from Asia grew by 3.9 percent, from 83.6 million to 86.9 million. Inward migration to the region grew by 1.4 percent, from 41.8 million to 42.4 million.

According to the report, one in three migrants (33.4 percent) worldwide comes from Asia. The report also states that the stock of Asian migrants grew by 79.8 percent from 1990 to 2017 (from 48.3 million to 86.9 million). European migrants grew by only 28 percent (from 48.1 million to 61.6 million), decreasing from 32.1 percent to 23.7 percent over the same period.

The report says that the major host countries for Asian migrants are the United States (12.3 million), Saudi Arabia (8.5 million), and the Russian Federation (6.8 million).

The ADB report also points out that the intraregional migrants to India largely come from neighboring countries such as Bangladesh (3.1 million), Pakistan (1.1 million), and Nepal (0.5 million).  Major host economies for intraregional migration include India (5 million); Thailand (3.5 million); Pakistan (3.4 million); Australia (3.2 million); and Hong Kong, China (2.7 million).

The study also notes that the ratio of intraregional migration to total outward migration has declined over the year where it was 47.5 percent in 1990 and now 34.7 percent in 2017. The absolute number of Asian migrants staying within the region during 2015–2017, has also dropped slightly from 30.24 million to 30.18 million.

Tracing the leap of international migration from Asian region over the ages, the study says that “One key driver of the international migration is labor demand, as workers relocate to where they can find higher wages, better benefits, and greater career opportunities,” adding  “89.2 percent of international migrants globally are over the age of 15, with 72.7 percent of the migrants, entering labor markets in host countries.” Moreover, it shows that for temporary worker migration, the preferable destination remains the Middle East and Southeast Asia but permanent settlement or family reunification that includes nonworking international migrants is highly restricted in these areas.

One of the major reasons for the migration of highly skilled Asians remains advanced economy where the number of Indians have been showing to rule the chart. The American H-1B visas remain the most popular visa for skilled Asians and have been the most sought after by the Indians, the report notes. The share of H1B visas granted to applicants from Asia rose from 84.5 percent in 2013–2015 to at least 90.2 percent in 2017 and the overwhelming majority come from India (about 79.9 percent) and the China (14.2 percent), the report adds.

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