Indiaspora Rising: Country Top Source Of Oecd Migrants

  • Both the countries of origin (where people emigrate from) and the profile of migrants has changed significantly in recent years. India now tops the list of countries of origin for recent as well as highly skilled migrants to member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • The 34 OECD member countries include the European countries, the United States, Canada, Germany and Australia.


  • Indians also constitute the fourth largest diaspora in the OECD countries, according to a report released.
  • India accounted for 8.95 lakh recent migrants above the age of 15 years in OECD countries during 2010-11. ‘Recent migrants’ are those who have been in an OECD member-country for less than five years.
  • India was closely followed by Mexico (8.7 lakh) and China (8.2 lakh).
  • OECD’s report titled ‘Connecting with emigrants: a global profile of diasporas, 2015’ noted that in 2010-11, there were 3.1 crore highly educated migrants in OECD countries, an increase of 1.3 crore over a ten-year period.
  • India contributed the most, with the number of highly skilled migrants from here having risen by 123% over the past decade to stand at 22.38 lakh in 2010-11.
  • The OECD also highlighted the growing importance of the Asian diasporas. At 38.36 lakh, India had the fourth largest diaspora, a growth of 83% over ten years.
  • The country was ranked ninth in 2000-01. “China and India, with about 39 lakh migrants each, have surpassed the Diasporas of traditional OECD countries of origin of migrant population.
  • This is an important change relative to the top five countries of origin in 2000-01, which were all OECD countries (viz: Mexico, UK, Germany, Italy and Poland),” said the report.
  • As regards the issue of brain drain, OECD’s report doesn’t comment directly on the Indian scenario, but points out that “the risk of brain drain is higher for Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, while it is less of a concern for other regions.
  • For many countries, the rising educational attainment of their populations has mitigated the negative effects of the increasing numbers of their high-skilled migrants.”
  • An earlier OECD report had pointed out that the top five destinations for Indian migrants are: Australia, Germany, USA, Canada and UK. With a significant number of Indian’s overseas, US $71 billion was remitted to India in 2014, while the Chinese remitted to US $64 billion.
  • The dominance of Asia in highly skilled migration is also reflected in the numbers of international students from the region. With 6.25 lakh students in OECD countries in 2012, China is by far the top country of origin, followed by India with 1.68 lakh students.

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