10 facts about Indian immigrants you are probably unaware of

Indian diaspora

Figures from the United Nations show India being the world’s largest diaspora, standing at 15.6 million people while revealing a change in the Indian immigrant’s shift in the past two decades from the US towards countries in the Middle East mostly to work as manual laborers and domestic staff.

We feature ten such interesting facts about the geographical aspects of our people living abroad:

  • Over two million Indians have moved overseas in the past five years, the UN data on migrant movements published every five years, show. The increase in Indian expats across the world represented a rise of 17% from 2010, when 13.2 million were living abroad, making it the largest diaspora for the first time.
  • In 2005, India was in third place after Russia and Mexico, countries that both had 10.5 million people living overseas. India’s vast diaspora sends back billions of dollars in remittances every year. With estimated remittance flows of around $72 billion in 2015, the South Asian nation receives more expat cash than any other country, World Bank figures show.
  • Pakistan, which is India’s neighbor and political rival, records the second-highest number of Indian-born people there, at 2 million, according to the UN data. However, the figure is largely due to the partition in 1947. Migration between India and Pakistan is vanishingly rare.
  • While the US is still the second-most popular destination for Indians with nearly 2 million people who were born in India living there, data shows a decline in recent years from 26 percent between 2005 and 2010 to 16 percent between 2010 and 2015.
  • Interestingly, the biggest proportions of Indians are in the United Arab Emirates, where 3.5 million Indians make up 30% of the population being the largest expatriate group. However, numbers of Indian immigrants in the UAE have also slowed dramatically- only 20% from 2010 to 2015 compared with an increase of 126% between 2005 and 2010. The UAE had the most male Indian migrants–2.7 million.
  • Saudi Arabia came next with 1.9 million, then Kuwait with 1 million and Oman where 777,632 India-born are based. Around 1.2 million Indians live in Europe. Most Indians who moved abroad chose to live in what the UN defined as developing regions with 3 million relocating to developed regions.
  • The majority of Indian migrants were men, standing at 10 million. Worldwide, women make up 48.2% of migrants. The number of Indian men choosing to live abroad rose 18% from 8.5 million in 2010 whereas the number of women doing the same thing rose 15% from 4.8 million in 2010 to 5.5 million in 2015. Also, Indian males were more likely to travel to developing regions than their female counterparts– more than twice as many men migrating to such places as women.
  • Also, compared to 2.3 million Indian men living in developed regions, 2 million Indian women are residing there with the US being the host to the most female Indian migrants at 933,216.
  • Many countries logged no Indian migrants at all, including Micronesia, Greenland and Paraguay. Of the places that do have Indians living in them, the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba had the fewest, with just 9 people from the South Asian nation resident there.
  • Overall, migration from Syria rose the most. At 5 million, it was five times its level in 2010, as a certain conflict in the country caused people to flee. Pakistan’s migration rose 18% from 5 million to 5.9 million people living abroad between 2010 and 2015.

Interestingly, The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division revealed that worldwide, 244 million people were living in a country other than where they were born in 2015. That was an increase of 41% compared with the year 2000. Also, of the 20 countries with the largest diaspora, 11 were located in Asia. (The Wall Street Journal) (picture courtesy: visual.ly)