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Telling Numbers: What Indians living abroad have been sending home over the years

International remittances in 2018 reached $689 billion, out of which India received $78.6 billion from the 17.5 million living abroad.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: November 30, 2019 12:21:03 pm
Telling Numbers: What Indians living abroad have been sending home over the years Indian one thousand and five hundred rupee banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2016. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

The Global Migration Report 2020, newly released by the UN-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM) reiterates the key trend of the International Migrant Stock 2019 dataset released by the UN Population Division in September — of the 272 international migrants worldwide (3.5% of the global population), India accounts for the highest share with 17.5 million Indians living outside the country (The Indian Express, November 29).

India is followed by Mexico (11.8 million) and China (10.7 million). According to the IOM report, roughly two-thirds of international migrants are labour migrants.

Telling Numbers: What Indians living abroad have been sending home over the years Source: IOM Global Migration Report 2020

Among other details in the new report, the high count of international migrants living abroad also makes India the leading recipient of remittances.

International remittances in 2018 (2020 report) reached $689 billion, out of which India received $78.6 billion from the 17.5 million living abroad. Remittances received by India have consistently increased between the 2005 and 2020 reports, sharply from $22.13 billion in 2005 to $53.48 billion in 2010 and then gradually to $68.91 billion in 2015 and $78.6 billion in the latest report.

India is currently followed by China ($67.4 billion), Mexico ($35.7 billion), Philippines ($33.8 billion), Egypt ($28.9 billion) and France ($26.4 billion). The United States was the top remittance-issuer, at $68 billion, followed by the United Arab Emirates ($44.4 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($36.1 billion).

Telling Numbers: What Indians living abroad have been sending home over the years Source: IOM Global Migration Report 2020

The top destinations for international migrants is the US where, as of September 2019, there were 50.7 million international migrants. The US is followed by Germany, Saudi Arabia, Russian Federation and the UK.

The top migration corridors for Indians are the United Arab Emirates, the US and Saudi Arabia. Conversely, the highest number of migrants entering India come from Bangladesh. The US is also the top choice for migrants from China.

Telling Numbers: What Indians living abroad have been sending home over the years Source: IOM Global Migration Report 2020

As compared to the 2000 Global Migration Report, the number of international migrants has nearly doubled in the 2020 report, from 150 million to 272 million. While the proportion of female international migrants has only marginally changed between the two reports, from 47.5% in 2000 to 47.9% , the share of international migrants who were children has dropped from 16% in 2000 to 13.9%.

Oceania is the region with the highest proportion of international migrants and the UAE is the country with the highest proportion of international migrants. More than half of all international migrants (141 million) live in Europe and North America. The report also confirmed other important migration corridors from poorer countries to richer nations such as those to France, Russia, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Telling Numbers: What Indians living abroad have been sending home over the years Source: IOM Global Migration Report 2020

“This pattern is likely to remain the same for many years into the future, especially as populations in some developing subregions and countries are projected to increase in coming decades, placing migration pressure on future generations,” IOM said.

In Africa, Asia and Europe, most international migrants stay within their regions of birth, but the majority of migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean and North America do not.

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