At 18 million, India has largest diaspora in the world
The Indian diaspora, one of the most vibrant and dynamic, is the largest in the world, with 18 million people from the coUNtry living outside their homeland in 2020, the UN has said. The United Arab Emirates, the US, and Saudi Arabia host the largest number of migrants from India, making Indians the largest transnational population in the world.
Indian diaspora is present in all continents
"Indian migrant population is distributed all over the globe. While some transnational populations are clustered in one country or region, the Indian diaspora is present in all continents," Population Affairs Officer in the Population Division, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Clare Menozzi said.
Mexico and Russia are next on the list
The report, International Migration 2020 Highlights, released by the Population Division of UN DESA on Friday, said, "In 2020, 18 million persons from India were living outside of their country of birth." Other countries with a large diaspora include Mexico and Russia (11 million each), China (10 million), and Syria (8 million).
UAE hosts the most migrants from India
The report said India's large diaspora is distributed across a number of major countries of destination, with the UAE (3.5 million), the US (2.7 million), and Saudi Arabia (2.5 million) hosting the largest number of migrants from India. Other countries hosting a large number of Indian migrants include Australia, Canada, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, and the UK.
India registered the highest growth between 2000 and 2020
Between 2000 and 2020, the size of the migrant population abroad grew for nearly all countries. India experienced the largest gain during that period at nearly 10 million, followed by Syria and Venezuela. Migration from India is largely motivated by labor and family reasons, Director of Population Division at UN DESA John Wilmoth said, adding that forced displacement is only about 10 percent in total.
Indian diaspora contributes to the economic prosperity of the countries
The Indian diaspora is comprised predominantly of the working class, students, and people who moved for family reasons. "A large number of Indian migrants are present in the Gulf countries where they are playing a central role in the economic prosperity of the countries, working in construction, hospitality, and care services. The diverse Indian diaspora also includes highly-skilled scientists, engineers, and doctors," Menozzi said.
US hosted 51 million migrants last year
Meanwhile, the US remained by far the favorite and therefore, the largest country of destination for international migrants with 51 million migrants in 2020, equal to 18 percent of the world's total. Germany hosted the second largest number of migrants worldwide at around 16 million, followed by Saudi Arabia (13 million), Russia (12 million), and the UK (9 million).
COVID-19 pandemic has affected international migration
Notably, preliminary estimates suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed the growth in the stock of international migrants by around two million by mid-2020, 27 percent less than the growth expected since mid-2019. However, in 2020, there were 281 million migrants, up from 173 million in 2000 and 221 million in 2010. Currently, international migrants represent about 3.6 percent of the world's population.
India experienced a pronounced decline in international migrants
Further, between 2000 and 2020, the number of migrants grew in 179 countries and declined in 53. Germany, UAE, and the US gained the largest number of migrants. Armenia, India, and Pakistan experienced the most pronounced declines. In many cases, the declines resulted from the old age of the migrant populations or the return of refugees and asylum seekers to their countries of origin.Share this timeline