Indians now the largest international migrant group

Pew Research Centre puts India before Mexico

Business & Politics

News - Biz@India

December 19, 2016

/ By / New Delhi

With globalisation and technology bridging the gap between diverse ends of the world, more and more people are now migrating, possibly with the idea of self-development. A recent research has shown that Indians are leading the line of international migrants, leaving behind Mexicans and Russians among others.

A study conducted by the Pew Research Centre shows that India is the top country of origin of international migrants with 15.6 million Indians living abroad.

The report that has been released ahead of the International Migrants Day shows that as of 2015 nearly 3.5 million Indians lived in the UAE, the world’s second-largest migration corridor.

The report also said that the number of Indians living in the UAE and other Persian Gulf countries has increased during the past decade from 2 million in 1990 to more than 8 million in 2015, indicating that in terms of migration, the UAE is leading the charts, leaving the Mexico-US corridor behind.

“Most have migrated for economic opportunities in these oil-rich countries,” the report said.

Written by Philip Connor, the report said that if the entire world’s international migrants lived in a single country, it would be the world’s fifth largest, with around 244 million people.

“Overall, international migrants make up 3.3 pc of the world’s population today,” it said.

With 15.6 million Indians around the world, India leads the line of migrants followed by Mexico (12.3 million), Russia (10.6 million), China (9.5 million) and Bangladesh (7.2 million).

While the UAE and other oil-rich nations have the maximum number of migrants due to economic reasons, the US, as a destination country, attracts more international migrants than any other country. It is home to about one-in-five international migrants (46.6 million).

Other top destinations of migrants include Germany (12.0 million), Russia (11.6 million), Saudi Arabia (10.2 million) and the United Kingdom (8.5 million), according to the report.

 A matter of development

The United Nations defines migration as a “courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life.”

Globalisation and technology is virtually bringing the world closer and with the immense exposure and knowledge, people are themselves walking down the physical gaps by migrating with an eye for a better life.

“I was a jeweler in India but then following my passion for food I came to Australia as a student of the hospitality industry. My decision not just brought me closer to my dream but also gave me and my family a better lifestyle, more financial security and a better understanding of the world, “says Navjyot Mahendru, a chef and entrepreneur.

“People have different work ethics here which are very different from that of Indians. I worked with people from different cultures and that made me more educated,” Mahendru says.

While individuals migrate with the idea of self-development, migration leads to “co-development” with economic and social benefits happening at both the origin and destination of migration.

“As a migrant I work very hard as I do not have any other support system. I have established a business, I am making money here, I pay taxes to the country’s government and I am helping my family back India,” explains Mahendru who sold his land in India to buy a franchise of a restaurant chain.

With more money to invest, that Mahendru is hoping to earn with his restaurant, he also wishes to start his own café in Australia. His first attempt at it was not successful as “ it is very expensive to run even a small cage of your own,” he tells us.

Protecting the interests of refugees and migrants and supporting the act, the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, 2016 held its first ever summit on large movements of refugees and migrants. Known as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (NY Declaration), these commitments are reaffirming the “importance of the international protection regime and represents a commitment by member states to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move.”




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