India has a long history of migration. More than a century ago, large numbers of Indian migrants – many of them involuntary ones – moved to Africa, the Caribbean and within the Indian subcontinent itself. Some of the top destinations of Indian migrants in more recent decades include Persian Gulf countries, North America and Europe.
Most recently, Indians have looked towards the West with US as the top-most destination. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, considered a “low immigration” think tank based in Washington, D.C., India has sent the largest number of immigrants to the U.S. over the past six years – more than 654,000. The report released on October 16th stated that the overall immigrant population in the U.S. is currently 43.7 million, and will reach 72 million by the year 2050. The report did not distinguish between documented and undocumented residents.
As per a Pew Research report, as of 2015, 15.6 million people born in India were living in other countries. India has been among the world’s top origin countries of migrants since the United Nations started tracking migrant origins in 1990. The number of international Indian migrants has more than doubled over the past 25 years, growing about twice as fast as the world’s total migrant population.
Nearly half of India’s migrants are in just three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and the United States. About 3.5 million Indians live in the UAE, the top destination country for Indian migrants. Over the past two decades, millions of Indians have migrated there to find employment as laborers. Pakistan has the second-largest number of migrants, with 2 million.
Almost 2 million more live in the U.S., making up the country’s third-largest immigrant group. Among Indian Americans, nearly nine-in-ten were born in India. As a whole, Indian Americans are among the highest educated and have some of the highest income among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.
Parsing data from the federally-mandated 2016 American Community Survey and the national census, CIS noted that immigration from India has grown by 37 percent from 2010 to 2016. Currently, more than 2.4 million Indian immigrants reside in the U.S., up from approximately 1 million in 2000. The Indian immigrant population is almost equivalent to the Chinese immigrant population, which is estimated at approximately 2.7 million in 2016.
The biggest jumps in immigration percentages were primarily from South Asian countries. Immigration from Nepal jumped a whopping 86 percent; currently, more than 129,000 immigrants from Nepal reside in the U.S., a huge leap from 1990, when only 2,000 Nepalis immigrated to the country.
Bangladesh also had a substantial increase in immigration over the past six years – 56 percent – with a total population of almost 235,000 Bangladeshi immigrants in the U.S. in 2016. The population of Pakistanis in the U.S. increased by 28 percent over the last six years to almost 383,000.
By contrast, immigration from Mexico – traditionally thought of as the greatest contributor of immigrants to the U.S. – has just about stopped, to a negative 1 percent last year. Latin American countries – excluding Mexico – collectively had an immigration growth rate of 13 percent over the past six years.
California is home to the largest number of immigrants – more than 10 million – of any state in the nation, but Texas and Florida had the biggest numbers of immigrants moving to the states.
CIS is headed by Mark Krikorian, described by The Washington Post as “the provocateur standing in the way of immigration reform.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled CIS a “hate group.”
In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Steven Camarota, one of the authors of the report, decried the growth in the immigrant population, and noted that there were no policy discussions to potentially stem the growth of legal immigration.
Both Carlson and Camarota said they had not met an immigrant they didn’t like, but Camarota also noted that the influx of immigrants uses up the nation’s resources, contributes to heavy road traffic, and the housing crisis. “One-third of all children in poverty live in immigrant households,” he said, adding that the U.S. must exercise its capacity to control the influx of new immigrants.
In addition to immigrants, there were slightly more than 16.6 million U.S.-born minor children with an immigrant parent in 2016, for a total of 60.4 million immigrants and their children in the country, noted CIS, adding that immigrants and their minor children now account for nearly one in five U.S. residents.