Indians are the largest group of international migrants living abroad at 17.5 million, according to new data released by the United Nations on Wednesday. Of them, an estimated 3.3 million remain in the UAE, accounting for the largest Indian community in the world.
The International Migrant Stock 2019, a dataset released on Wednesday by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs or DESA, said the UAE hosts the fifth largest number of international migrants at nine million, with the global list being topped by United States at 51 million, Germany and Saudi Arabia (13 million), Russia (12 million) and United Kingdom (10 million). While France, Canada and Australia host around eight million international migrants, Italy is home to six million.
The UAE also has the distinction of hosting the largest number of Indian migrants at 3.31 million, up from 978,992 in 2000, according to the UN’s International Migration Report (2017).
Consul General of India Vipul told Gulf News, “In the last two decades, Indians have made a mark professionally in fields like IT, engineering, medicine and chartered accountancy. Therefore, they have become professionals of choice in many countries, helping to build the global economy.”
He said there is also a historical and cultural connect in the case of some countries. “The UAE is a prime example of that. Thanks to the support of the leadership and the security and stability provided by the UAE, so many Indians are happily working here as professionals or are doing business. We have a vibrant and diverse community with people from every state of India.”
Data sourced locally also shows that Indians are also the largest expat representation in the UAE, accounting for over 27 per cent of the population, followed by Pakistanis, Filipinos and Egyptians.
In the last two decades, Indians have made a mark professionally in fields like IT, engineering, medicine and chartered accountancy. Therefore, they have become professionals of choice in many countries, helping to build the global economy.
Globally, the UN report says the top 10 countries of migrants’ origin account for one-third of all international migrants. After India’s 17.5 million strong diaspora, migrants from Mexico are the second largest at 11.8 million, followed by China 10.7 million, Russia 10.5 million, Syria 8.2 million, Bangladesh 7.8 million, Pakistan 6.3 million, Ukraine 5.9 million, the Philippines 5.4 million and Afghanistan 5.1 million.
Agencies quoted UN Under-Secretary-General for DESA Liu Zhenmin as saying, “These data are critical for understanding the important role of migrants and migration in the development of both countries of origin and destination.”
He said orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people were important in fostering sustainable development.
World’s migrant population now at 272 million
Europe and North America have absorbed the largest share of the world’s 272 million migrants, a population that has grown by 23 per cent over the past decade, according to the UN report.
The report found that there were 82 million migrants living in Europe and 59 million in North America in 2019, followed by northern Africa and western Asia with 49 million each.
There were 51 million more migrants in the world in 2019 than in 2010, a 23 per cent increase. The report also said migrants account for 3.5 per cent of the world’s population today, compared with 2.8 per cent in 2000.
The report said the estimates were based on official national statistics on the foreign-born or the foreign population obtained from population censuses, population registers or nationally representative surveys.
9 million international migrants in the UAE
international migrants in the UAE