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After Mexico, India second largest source of migrants

Last updated on: March 12, 2012 09:00 IST

'After Mexico, India second largest source of migrants'

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India is the second largest source of global migrants after Mexico and is the ninth top destination for all migrants, a news report said.

According to a study released by the Pew Research Center, over 77 million migrants, or about 36 per cent of the worldwide total, have come from the 10 leading origin countries.

Overall, Mexico has been the largest single source of migrants (12.9 million), followed closely by India (11.8 million) and Russia (11.3 million).

In addition, China (8.4 million), Bangladesh (6.5 million) and Ukraine (6.5 million) each have more than six million emigrants.

Because the United Nations counts both Palestinian refugees and their descendants as migrants, the Palestinian territories have been the source of 5.7 million migrants, by the UN's definition.

Britain, the Philippines and Pakistan round out the top 10 list of countries of origin for international migrants alive today, the report said.

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Image: Indian workers line up to board a bus after a day's work in Dubai
Photographs: Reuters

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'Hindu migrants have come overwhelmingly from India'

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About 110 million migrants, or more than 50 per cent of the global total, have gone to the 10 leading destination countries.

With nearly 43 million foreign-born residents, including more than 11 million unauthorised immigrants, the US has more than three times as many international migrants as any other single country, it said.

"Indeed, the US has about as many immigrants as Europe's top five destinations -- Russia (12.3 million), Germany (10.8 million), France (6.7 million), the United Kingdom (6.5 million) and Spain (6.4 million) -- combined," the report said.

Among the world's other top 10 destinations for migrants have been Saudi Arabia (7.3 million foreign-born residents), Canada (7.2 million), France (6.7 million), the United Kingdom (6.5 million), Spain (6.4 million), India (5.4 million) and Ukraine (5.3 million), the report said.

The largest share of the world's Muslim migrants is Palestinian in origin (more than 5 million), followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh and India (more than 3 million each), it said.

The top country of origin for Buddhist migrants is Vietnam, followed closely by China (more than 1 million each).

Hindu migrants have come overwhelmingly from India (more than five million), it said.

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Image: Policemen break up a quarrel between migrant workers at a street corner in Mumbai
Photographs: Arko Datta /Reuters

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'Religion-based migration continues in Indian subcontinent'

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According to the report, the US is the world's No 1 destination for Christian migrants, who make up nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of all foreign-born people living in the US.

The US is also the top destination for Buddhist migrants (including many from Vietnam). It is the world's second-leading destination for Hindu migrants, after India, and for Jewish migrants, after Israel.

The report, notes that more than six decades after partition, religion-based migration continues in the Indian sub-continent.

"Much of the migration out of these countries was prompted by the partitioning of the Indian subcontinent in the years following the withdrawal of the British Raj in 1947.

However, even today, people continue to move between countries in the area, with Muslims generally migrating to Pakistan while Hindus tend to move to India," it said.

According to the report, about six-in-ten Hindu migrants have moved to countries in the Asia-Pacific region, where more than nine-in-ten originate.

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Image: Labourers from Bangladesh eat dinner at a restaurant in Singapore's Little India
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: US , India , Muslims , Israel

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'Outside of South Asia, US has most Hindu immigrants'

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"There has been substantial movement between the South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan. But substantial numbers of Hindus also have moved to North America and the Middle East-North Africa (mostly Gulf Cooperation Council countries)," it said.

Hindu migrants, it said, have come mostly from India (more than five million) and Bangladesh (almost three million).

Much smaller numbers of Hindu migrants have come from the Pacific region known as Oceania (particularly Fiji) and the Caribbean (particularly Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana).

For Hindus, India is far and away the No 1 destination country, it said, adding that about 3.7 million Hindu immigrants have moved to India, principally from neighboring countries, for reasons ranging from family reunification to job opportunities.

"But those factors also sometimes operate in reverse, drawing Hindus from India and nearby countries to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, which are among the top 10 destinations – as well as among the top 10 origins – for Hindu migrants," it said.

"Outside of South Asia, the United States has by far the most Hindu immigrants: an estimated 1.3 million first-generation (foreign-born) Hindus, most of whom have arrived in recent decades. Significant Hindu migration also has occurred to the Arab states of the Persian Gulf (especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) and to the United Kingdom and Canada," it said.


Image: Migrant workers from the Indian sub-continent on their day off sit on an outdoor viewing platform at the recently opened Marina Bay Sands integrated resorts in Singapore
Photographs: Reuters

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