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Indian emigration, 1947 to present

Migration A–Z


  1. Vibha Bhalla

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm290

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Bhalla, V. 2013. Indian emigration, 1947 to present. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Large-scale migration from India began in 1947 after India's independence from the United Kingdom. A substantial proportion of Indian migrants are highly educated, skilled professionals in science-based fields, especially physicians, engineers, and computer scientists, who have migrated to economically developed nations, predominantly the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Since the 1970s, semiskilled and unskilled workers have also been migrating to the oil-producing countries in the Middle East. The two migrant flows vary immensely: migrants to the developed nations have the right to citizenship and family reunification and consequently have settled permanently in these nations. In sharp contrast, migration to the Middle East nations is predominantly temporary, and composed primarily of men who rarely have the right to migrate with their families. The largest number of Indian migrants can be found in the United States (1,678,765), the United Kingdom (1,200,000), Canada, (851,000), and Australia (190,000). Indian migrants to the Middle East are predominantly in Saudi Arabia (1,500,000), followed by the United Arab Emirates (950,000), Oman (312,000), Kuwait (295,000), Qatar (131,000), and Bahrain (312,000).


  • Asia;
  • capitalism;
  • political economy;
  • development;
  • regional development