India remains the fifth biggest country of origin for migrants to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, new data released by the OECD on Thursday shows. More OECD immigrants came from China, Syria, Romania and Poland than from India in 2015. The number of Indian immigrants to OECD countries in 2015 stood at 2.68 lakh.
The 35-member OECD includes industrialised nations in Europe, Asia and the Americas, as well as Mexico, Chile and Turkey. Humanitarian migration was the main reason behind migration to these countries in 2015 and 2016, the International Migration Outlook 2017 report said. The United States was the OECD's leading destination country in 2015, with over 10 lakh new immigrants in that year alone.
In the preceding decade, Indians comprised the fourth largest group of new immigrants, with 2.36 lakh Indians migrating to OECD countries every year between 2005 and 2015. From 2014 onwards, Syria was catapulted into second place after China.
Indian students make up the second largest number of international students enrolled in OECD countries after China — there were 1.86 lakh Indian students studying in OECD nations in 2016. The US and United Kingdom are the top destination countries for international students.
Indians lead in seeking and receiving citizenship of the countries they migrate to — 1.3 lakh Indians became naturalised citizens of OECD countries in 2015.
Indians are now the biggest immigrant group in Australia and New Zealand, the second biggest in Canada, and the third biggest in Finland and the United States. In 2016, Indian immigrants overtook their Chinese counterparts in sending home the most money in remittances.