Data: Indian-origin people form the largest share of international migrants as of 2019

The number of migrants living in India saw a slight decline from 5.24 million in 2015 to an estimated 5.15 million in 2019. (Representational image)  

As of 2019, 17.5 million people of Indian origin are residing in other countries as immigrants. They form 6.4% of all international immigrants - the largest share among all nations. Most of them reside in West Asian countries. On the other hand, five million people from other countries are residing legally in India with over half of them from Bangladesh.

Country of origin

One-third of all international migrants are from 10 different countries. India led the pack with 17.5 million international migrants. India (6.4%) is ahead of Mexico (4.3%) and China (4%) among migrants.

Which countries have the highest share of out-migrants


Destination country for migrants

The United States is the most preferred destination for migrants from all across the globe. Germany and Saudi Arabia are a distant second.

Which countries have the highest share of in-migrants


Where most Indians went

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the most preferred destination for Indian migrants as of 2019. The US, Saudi Arabia and Oman were among other nations where Indian migrants moved to.

To which countries did people of Indian origin go


Origin countries for migrants in India

Bangladeshis (60%) are the largest contingents among migrants in India. Pakistan and Nepal are a distant second and third respectively.

From which countries did migrants to India come


Changing patterns

Among select countries to which people of Indian origin migrated to since 1990, West Asian countries have remained the preferred destinations. The share of Indians moving to North America and Australia has grown over time. The table lists % of Indian origin international migrants. For instance, in 2019, 19.5% of them are in UAE.

Preferred destinations


Migrant count

When the share of international migrants as a % of the total population in a country (as of 2019) is considered, the UAE has the most (88%). The corresponding number for India is among the lowest (0.4%).

Share of international migrants


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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 3:06:07 PM |

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