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Indian Migrations: Indians are leaving the country in droves. Here’s where they are headed and

India had the largest diaspora population in the world with 18 million people from the country living outside their homeland in 2020, according to a report by the United Nations.

According to the ‘International Migration 2020 Highlights’, by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the UAE, the US and Saudi Arabia host the largest number of migrants from India.

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In 2020, 18 million persons from India were living outside their country of birth. Other countries with a large diaspora population included Mexico and Russia (11 million each), China (10 million) and Syria (8 million).

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India’s large diaspora is distributed across the United Arab Emirates (3.5 million), the United States of America (2.7 million) and Saudi Arabia (2.5 million). Other countries hosting large numbers of Indian migrants included Australia, Canada, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and the United Kingdom, the report said.

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Students lead the way

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Before the pandemic shut global borders, and before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 5.9 lakh Indian students moved to attend international campuses. The numbers fell to less than half during the pandemic year, and slowly began recovering as covid protocols around the world began being lifted.

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As seen over the last few years, Canada remained the most popular destination, boosted by easy immigration pathways and attractive working rules for migrants. The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom and China round up the top 5 destinations for Indian students, with Germany slowly gaining ground.

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Renouncing citizenships More than 1.6 million Indians have renounced their citizenship since 2011, including 1,83,741 in 2022, according to government data.

The United States remains the main draw for Indians moving abroad and gaining citizenship in other countries.

As many as 1,63,370 Indians renounced their citizenship to become citizens of other countries in 2021, according to latest government data.

This number saw a dip during the pandemic, when 85,256 citizens moved out. In 2019, 1,44,017 Indians had relinquished their citizenship.

Most Indians transferred their citizenship to the United States (78,284), followed by Australia (23,533), Canada (21,597) and the UK(14,637).

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Remittance flows Migrant workers from India are also on track to send home a record amount of money this year, boosting the finances of Asia’s third largest economy poised to retain its spot as the world’s top recipient of remittances.

Remittance flows to India will see a rise of 12% to reach $100 billion this year, according to a World Bank report.

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