More Indian migrants living in Pakistan than US: PEW Research Centre

Published: March 7, 2017

According to Pew Research Centre, almost half of India’s migrants are living in just three countries: the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pakistan and the United States (US).

In 2015, Pakistan was home to the second-largest number of Indian migrants after the UAE, said a published report on its website.

It said that some 3.5 million Indians have been living in the UAE, making it the most favourite destination country for Indian migrants.

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Over the past two decades millions of Indians have migrated there to find employment as labourers.

Surprisingly, Pakistan has the second-largest number of Indian migrants, with two million in the research centre’s report.

Almost two million more Indian migrants live in the US, making up the country’s third-largest immigrant group, the report added.

During the last 25 years, the number of global Indian migrants has more than doubled, growing nearly twice as fast as the world’s aggregate migrant population.

In 2015, 15.6 million people born in India were already living in other countries, it added.

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In another old study conducted in 2010, Pew Research Centre revealed that India’s religious minorities were actually moving from their country at a greater rate than the majority Hindus, who made up 80% of India’s population.

Approximately 19% of the migrant population from India is Christian, though they form only 3% of the entire population. On the other hand, Muslims made up 27% of the Indian migrant population living abroad, compared with roughly 14% of the population in India, it explained.

India has a long history of migration. Many Indian migrants moved to Africa, the Caribbean and within the Indian subcontinent itself, over a century ago. Few of the top destinations for Indian migrants in recent years remained Persian Gulf countries, North America and Europe.

Read the report here.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Gyan
    Mar 7, 2017 - 2:24PM

    Surely no one in their right mind especially Hindus, Sikhs or any community which is non Muslims is moving to Pakistan and living there. My guess these immigrants are from Bihar or UP which are treated badly in Pakistan. If I am right they are called Mohajirs. Recommend

  • sri
    Mar 7, 2017 - 2:58PM

    So they are wrongfully counting the muslims who migrated to Pakistan during partition as Indians. Then there are more Pakistanis (Hindus and Sikhs cleansed from Pakistan) in India than in any other country.Recommend

  • Maytham
    Mar 7, 2017 - 3:14PM

    Well quiet astonished, by Indian migrants do you mean Muhajir or Indian nationals, because the major chunk of Muhajirs and multi ethnic people live in Karachi and I have never came across any Indian national ( or a person claiming to be so) in this city or Pakistan ever. So have no idea how can this report be authentic.Recommend

  • Pradeep
    Mar 7, 2017 - 3:48PM

    I did read the article. What is not clear is the timeline of migration. Are all populations compared over the same range of time i.e. last 35 years or so? If not, then this is not an apples to apples comparison. Obviously more people migrated to Pakistan immediately post partition.

    Also for people happy to bash India in this forum, please note that even after all this, India has one of the lowest percentage of native born having immigrated accordingly to the article. Our population means that even a minuscule percentage represents population of entire countries.Recommend

  • Muazzam
    Mar 7, 2017 - 5:09PM

    We should look forward to elemanate the poverty In Sarrc countriesRecommend

  • Syed Fahim Uddin
    Mar 7, 2017 - 5:11PM

    Dear my forefathers migrated from India after seperation we proud our country we don’t have any interest in India at all we new generation were born here in my family there were only few people migrated from India now we have families in Karachi we are called as mahajir because our first language is urdu and we are known as urdu speaking too everyone loves Pakistan and hate India by birth as you guys hate Pakistan it’s natural in people of both countries Recommend

  • Khalid
    Mar 7, 2017 - 7:02PM

    The problem with indian migrants is that they spread their dirty culture.Recommend

  • Billoo
    Mar 7, 2017 - 8:50PM

    To a comment about Indians spending more time on Pakistani form having nothing better to do. Indians are very busy people raping, committing infanticide, suicid-ing, and above all killing young girls oto avert badluck. What a bunch of losersRecommend

  • Manu
    Mar 8, 2017 - 12:17AM

    Ha ha ha…seems like the guy who wrote this article is really high on drugs.That too of good quality from Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Manu
    Mar 8, 2017 - 12:25AM

    Ok, just got a clarification from PEW that they consider PoK as an part of India(People born their are considered to be Indian by birth) due to which people born in Gilgit-Baltistan and small Kashmir under Pakistan moving to mainland Pakistan are taken into consideration.Numbers seem to be more clear now even though these depicted numbers of people moving to Pakistan might be rough estimates as census is not yet conducted by Pakistan and these locals don’t use passports while migration.Recommend

  • Taxzu
    Mar 8, 2017 - 11:35AM

    @ Manu
    This is not the case. They were born with Pakistani passport.Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Mar 8, 2017 - 12:09PM

    So this is the reason…Farooq Sattar and Company has been claiming to be in Majority in Sindh. Stop playing dirty games Farooq SattarRecommend

  • Arshad Hussain Khan
    Mar 8, 2017 - 4:49PM

    And the world of Foreign media blames Muslim Countries doesn’t host Migrants !Recommend

  • UK
    Mar 8, 2017 - 8:12PM


    Total of 7.2 million people migrated to Pakistan in 1947. Out of which only 0.7 m went to East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and 6.5 m moved to West Pakistan (Today’s Pakistan).

    Out of 6.5 m who moved to West Pakistan, 1.5 million went to Sindh, mainly Karachi and Hyderabad. Whereas 5 million settled in Pakistani Punjab (including my own grand parents).

    “Mohajir” word is only used by descendants of 1.5 m migrants who settled in Sindh. Migrants to Punjab were initially called “Panaahi”, but term vanished pretty quick. Descendants of those who migrated to Punjab, now consider themselves Punjabis and do not use term “Mohajir” or “Panaahi” Recommend

  • Zahid
    Mar 9, 2017 - 12:03AM

    Pakistan Zindabad…great place that even the Indians call home….or at least the lucky ones. We don’t kill you for eating beef.Recommend

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