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India, migration 1940s to present

Migration A–Z


  1. Binod Khadria

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm288

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Khadria, B. 2013. India, migration 1940s to present. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


According to a 1979 Indian Ministry of External Affairs estimate, the number of persons of Indian origin residing abroad was 10.7 million (Weiner 1982). This number was substantial but represented merely 1.6 percent of India's population at that time. By the close of the 20th century, an almost double 20 million-strong stock of Indian migrants abroad was recorded, representing approximately 2 percent of the country's more than 1 billion population. This comprised roughly half “nonresident Indians” – NRIs, still holding Indian citizenship, and half “persons of Indian origin” – PIOs, who were naturalized citizens of their countries of abode. In modern era terminology, the two together are referred to as the “Indian diaspora,” as in the Report of the High-Level Committee on Indian Diaspora (ICWA 2001). No qualitative group classification of the global distribution of “Indian diaspora” is available beyond broad country and regional quantitative distribution, the latter presented in Figure 1. These one-off stock estimates are not complemented by flow data.


  • Asia;
  • demography and population studies;
  • globalization;
  • transnationalism;
  • regional development