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Posted on April 28 2022

At 18 million, India has largest diaspora in the world: UN

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023

The diaspora of India, which was stated to be the most "vibrant and dynamic," is also the world's largest, with 18 million people of Indian origin migrating to countries overseas in 2020, said the United Nations (UN).

It added that the largest number of Indian expatriates live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United States (US), and Saudi Arabia. Menozzi said that although populations of some nations are concentrated in one country or area, the migrants from India are present in all continents and regions of the globe.

The report of the Population Division of UN DESA, 'International Migration 2020 Highlights,' said in 2020, 18 million persons from India were living outside of their country of birth. Other countries with large expatriate populations living elsewhere included Mexico, Russia, China, and Syria.

Other countries where a large number of Indian migrants were living included Canada, Australia, Kuwait, the UK, Oman, and Qatar.

From 2000 to 2020, although migrant populations overseas increased for most of the countries and regions of the world, most people relocating to other countries were Indians. The second-largest number of migrants were Syrians, while Venezuelans, Chinese, and Filipinos took third, fourth, and fifth places, respectively, in the numbers of expatriates.

Indians migrated largely due to employment and familial purposes, said another official of the UN DESA. Menozzi noted that although the diaspora of Indians primarily constituted migrant workers, they also included students pursuing higher education and people relocating with their family members.

She stated that the large numbers of Indian-born migrants living in the Gulf countries played a crucial part in the economic development of those nations by being employed in sectors of construction, health care, tourism, and so on. Included in the various Indian expatriates were highly qualified scientists, engineers, and physicians.

Across the globe, the country that the greatest number of migrants headed to in 2020 was the US. The world's richest economy welcomed 51 million migrants in 2020, about 18% of the total across the globe.

Germany became the second-largest destination for migrants globally at around 16 million. In the third, fourth, and fifth spots were the Republic of Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the UK, respectively, as they also welcomed a large number of migrants.

According to the report, the Covid-19 may have dissuaded people numbering around two million from migrating overseas in mid-2020, which is around 27% lesser than the number anticipated after mid-2019.

The report adds that the number of immigrants worldwide has been solid in the last two decades, touching a population of 281 million who left their native countries in 2020, increasing from 173 million and 220 million in 2000 and 2010, respectively.  At present, migrants worldwide account for around 3.6% of the global population.

The number of migrants increased in 179 countries or regions from 2000 to 2020. The US, Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE welcomed the most significant number of foreigners during that period. On the other hand, 53 nations or regions saw the number of foreign nationals falling during the same period. Included in the countries that saw migrants substantially declining were India, Armenia, Ukraine, Tanzania, and Pakistan.

Most migrant workers from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan moved to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, said the report.

If you are currently looking for an overseas career and plan to migrate to any country in the world to study or work, contact Y-Axis, the World's No. 1 Immigration Consultant

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