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Recently, the International Migration Report has been released by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs (DESA). It ranks India the topmost ‘origin country’ of international migration. While Mexico and China remain on number 2nd and 3rd respectively. It renders the current estimates of the number of international migrants among different countries. It illuminates migration based on sex, age, and origin.

Pronouncements of the report

The number of migrants has grown drastically to around 272 million in 2019 as compared to 241 million in 2015. India gained the first position in terms of ‘origin country’ of international migrants in 2019 with 17.5 million powerful diasporas. India accounts for 6.4% of the total global migrant population. The number of migrants from India in 2015 was 15.9%.

UN definition of Migrants

United Nations defines an “international migrant” as anyone who moves to a different country. Migration can be for different causes; be it for refuge, environmental refuge, work etc.

United Nations’ data is built upon collated census numbers.

At the regional level, Europe is the largest host continent in terms of International migration (82 million) followed by North America (59 Million). Likewise, the USA as regard to country-specific hosted the largest number of international migrants (51 Million). Hence equal to about 19% of the world’s total.

India hosted 5.2 million in 2015 while 5.1 million in 2019. In India, most of the international migrants came from neighbouring countries.

The female population of international migrants was 48.8% and the average age was 47 years. India hosted more than 2 lakhs refugees; the latest ones are Rohingyas of Myanmar. Refugees in India captures a 4% share of international migrants. UAE, US, Saudi Arabia are the top 3 destinations for migrants from India. In UAE the number is 3.4 million, and for the USA and Saudi Arabia, it is 2.6 million and 2.4 million respectively.

John Wilmoth- the director of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, phrased “the link between migration and development is very well established”. “The contribution of migrants both in host countries and countries of origin includes sending valuable remittances back to their countries”.

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