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India the world’s biggest source of migrant

3 July 20220 comments

Indians form the largest migrant population in the world and the remittance that they send home is also the highest, according to new data from the United Nations.

The data from the UN Migrant Stock Database shows that the population of Indians living abroad has grown steadily since 1990 to reach 18 million by 2020.

An average annual increase of 3.4 per cent was seen in the Indian immigrant population in the three decades between 1990 and 2020.

And UAE is the most popular place to Indians to migrate to with 3.4 million living there because the oil-rich nation offers opportunities for both skilled as well as semi-skilled workers to earn a living. 

The recent Australian census showed that India had leapfrogged China and New Zealand to become the third-largest country of birth behind Australia and Britain.

UAE became the third-largest host of Indian emigrants in 2005, after US and Pakistan. But between 1990 and 2020, its share of the Indian population grew by 657 per cent. It has been hosting the largest proportion of Indian emigrants since 2010. 

And currently, India-UAE is the world’s third-largest international migration country-to-country corridor, after Mexico-US and the Syria-Turkey corridor.

Interestingly, India does not share a border with UAE, unlike the other two corridors. 

The US was the second most attractive destination for Indians heading overseas.

The rapid growth in technology and digital services in the US since the turn of the century saw a need for educated and English-speaking manpower in the US.

Around 2.7 million Indians were living in the US in 2020, the data shows.

And Saudi Arabia was next on the list as a destination in 2020, with 2.5 million Indian emigrants.

Apart from these three countries, places, where more than 100,000 Indians resided in 2020, including Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the UK, Canada, Australia and Nepal.

Remittances sent by overseas Indians and the money they park in Indian banks has become increasingly beneficial to India’s economy.

“In 2020, India, China, Mexico, the Philippines and Egypt were (in descending order) the top five remittance recipient countries, although India and China were well above the rest, with total inward remittances exceeding $59 billion for each country,” the UN report said.

Remittances are financial transfers made by migrants directly to families or communities in their countries of origin.

In 2020, India received a remittance worth $US83.15 billion, the highest in the world.

China, which is the second on the list managed to receive only $US59.51 billion. 

The top source of international remittance in the world is the US, which accounts for $US68 billion of the total money. Indians form 5.5 per cent of the migrant population of the US.

World Bank data from 1975 to 2020 shows that international remittance inflow to India peaked in 2019, a year before COVID struck, when India received $US83.3 billion in remittances.