On Wednesday, the UN Population Division released the dataset International Migrant Stock 2019. While the size of the Indian diaspora in other countries was reported in The Indian Express on Thursday, the exhaustive dataset also showed striking trends in international migration into India. The number has been consistently going down in the last three decades; from 75.9 lakh in 1990, the international migrant population is 51.5 lakh in 2019, the dataset showed.
The United Nations said in a statement that these estimates were based on official national statistics of foreign populations gathered from censuses. “These numbers reflect any person who is moving or has moved across an international border, regardless of citizenship status or motive — meaning the data encompass people who have moved either intentionally or involuntarily,” it said.
The 51,54,737 international migrants in 2019 represent just 0.4 per cent of the total population of India. In contrast, the international migrant population across all countries is 27.2 crore, who represent 3.5 per cent of the total global population. Of these 27.2 crore, 1.75 crore are Indian migrants living in various countries.
Of the international migrants in India in 2019, the country of origin for 31 lakh — or just over 60 per cent — was Bangladesh. Another 21 per cent were originally from Pakistan and 10 per cent from Nepal.
The proportion of refugees among the international migrants has varied over the years. While the actual count is down from 2.12 lakh in 1990 to 2.08 lakh in 2019, their proportion among all international migrants has increased, from 2.8 per cent in 1990 to 4 per cent in 2019.
The proportion of women among international migrants in India, at 48.8 per cent, is higher than the 47.9 per cent proportion of women among international migrants across countries.