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At 18 Million, India has the World’s Largest Transnational Community: UN DESA report

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At 18 million, India has the world's largest diaspora population_ report International Migration 2020 HighlightsAccording to the  ‘International Migration 2020-Highlights’ report released by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), In 2020, 18 Million persons from India were living outside of their country of birth thus making it the World’s Largest Transnational Community. India is followed by Mexico & Russia (11 Million each), China (10 Million) & the Syrian Arab Republic (8 Million).

i.The United Arab Emirates (3.5 Million), the United States of America (2.7 Million) and Saudi Arabia (2.5 Million) host the largest numbers of migrants from India.

ii.At the Global level, the number of International Migrants living outside their country of birth reached 281 Million in 2020.   International Migrants represent about 3.6% of the World’s population.

iii.The Growth of International Migration has slowed by 27% or 2 Million due to COVID-19.

Key Points:

i.The Pandemic is expected to have caused a decline of 14% in remittance flows to Low and Middle Income Countries by 2021 compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

ii.Number of persons displaced across International Borders fleeing conflict, persecution, violence or human rights violations has doubled from 17 to 34 Million, which is 16% of the total increase in the number of International Migrants.

iii.Some other key points are:

  • Low and Middle-income countries have hosted about 80% of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Women & Girls comprise 48% of all International Migrants. Migrant Women are seen as important agents of Change.
  • 73% of International Migrants worldwide were between the ages of 20 and 64  years i.e the ideal working age of an individual.
  • Europe hosted the largest number of International Migrants in 2020 :  ~ 87 Million, followed by North America (~ 59 Million) & Northern Africa and Western Asia (~ 50 Million).
  • Majority of International Migrants originate from middle-income countries (~ 177 million, 63% of Total migrants).

iv.United States of America was the largest country of destination of international migrants with 51 Million migrants in 2020 (equal to 18% of world’s total), followed by Germany & Saudi Arabia.

Regarding India:

i.Due to Large Migrant population, India has become the main recipient of remittances worldwide, in 2019 it received USD 83 Billion in remittances from its diaspora.

  • India’s diaspora is distributed across a number of major countries of destination.
  • Apart from UAE, Saudi Arabia & USA other countries which host large numbers of Indians are Australia, Canada, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and the United Kingdom.
  • Between 2000-2020, India’s size of migrant population abroad saw the largest gain : 10 Million.
  • Family Reasons & Labour are the main reasons behind Migration from India.

Importance of Diasporas:

i.Diasporas play an important role in the development of their countries of origin, they promote foreign investment, trade, innovation, access to technology and financial inclusion

ii.Returning migrants bring back the experience and knowledge acquired abroad and contribute to their societies of origin as entrepreneurs and by creating jobs.

iii.Many low- and middle-income countries are seeking to utilize their transnational populations through the development of financial instruments like “diaspora bonds”, diaspora pension schemes and the securitization of remittance flow.

Click here to read the Full report

Recent  Related News:

i.The UN’s International Migrants Day is annually observed across the globe on 18th December with an aim to ensure effective and full protection of human rights of the migrants.

ii.On October 19, 2020, According to  “International Migration Outlook 2020”, India emerged as the second largest source country both in terms of the “total” inflow of new migrants to OECD countries during 2018.

About United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA):
Under Secretary General – Liu Zhenmin
Headquarters – New York, USA