Indian Diaspora is the Largest in the World

In 2015, 16 million persons from India were living outside the country.


India has the largest diaspora in the world, followed by Mexico, the Russian Federation and China, according to the United Nations’ World Migration Report 2018 published recently.

In 2015, 16 million persons from India were living outside their country of birth compared to 12 million from Mexico, the report published by the International Organisation for Migration said. With increase in migrant population, there has been an increase in remittances as well. In 2016, India, China, Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan were (in descending order) the top five remittance-recipient countries, although China and India were well above the rest, with total inward remittances exceeding $60 billion for each country.

The top destination in 2015 for migrants globally was the United States, with the country attracting 46.6 million people from other countries during the year.

Indians have emigrated to Uganda, Kenya and South Africa in significant numbers but in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the number of Chinese migrant workers moving to countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, according to the report.

India, Mexico and the Russian Federation, followed by China, have the largest population of foreign-born migrants in the world while India and China have the largest absolute numbers of migrants living abroad.

A sizeable number of migrants from South Asia, Africa and South-East Asia head to GCC countries, so much so that in 2015, migrants accounted for 88 per cent of the population in the United Arab Emirates, around 74 per cent in Kuwait, 76 per cent in Qatar, and 51 per cent in Bahrain. Many migrants came from Africa, South Asia (e.g. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal), and South-East Asia (e.g. Indonesia and the Philippines).

While India and Pakistan were initially the major origin countries of labor to GCC countries, the origin of migrant workers has diversified now, attracting workers from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.

As many as 3.5 million Indian migrants live in the United Arab Emirates, which is the largest number of migrants globally. However, most remittances coming to India are from Saudi Arabia. According to recent official details, most amount of remittances from the UAE go to India, which was around Dh15 million from January to September 2017. The second biggest corridor of migrants after India-UAE is Bangladesh-India.


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