While many Indian migrants move to far-flung, wealthy countries like the US, Canada, and the UK, a large number of them ends up right next door in Pakistan. According to a new study by Pew Research, in 2015, Pakistan was home to the second-largest number of Indian migrants after the United Arab Emirates.
In the past 25 years, the number of international Indian migrants has more than doubled, growing nearly twice as fast as the world’s total migrant population. In 2015, 15.6 million people born in India were living in another country; that means one in every 20 migrants globally was born in India.
In a 2010 study, Pew Research found that India’s religious minorities were migrating at a much higher rate than Hindus, who made up 80% of the country’s population. About 19% of the migrants from India are Christian, though they form only 3% of the country’s population. Also, Muslims made up 27% of the Indian migrant population living abroad, compared with roughly 14% of the population in India.
By far the largest numbers of Indian migrants—about 3.5 million— live in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan is the second-most common destination with two million, while 1.97 million Indian migrants now live in the US.