January 9th, 2017 is the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Traveling Indian Day not Traveling Indian Female Singers). It will be held in Bangalore and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in attendance. January 9th was picked to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa. The day celebrates Indian expatriates and people of Indian origin around the world- the huge community that spreads the country's soft cultural power and sends home hard cash.
With this day around the corner, we thought we might examine just how many Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) are there around the world. Turns out, a lot. Over 27 million actually. This week's chart shows countries that have over 100,000 NRIs and PIOs.
Not surprisingly, the United States comes out on top. With almost 4 million of them living in the US, NRI's and PIO's comprise of 1.25% of the entire population. In Saudi Arabia, the 3 million Indians are 10% of the Kingdoms's population. In the UAE however, the 2.9 million Indians represent a whopping 31% of the wealthy emirate's 9 million population.
Malaysia, Nepal, the UK, and South Africa are next on the list. These countries represent migration from India over a much longer period of time than the US, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. Canda and Myanmar round out the top 10. As you can see from the rest of the list, it is a mix of developed western and developing nations. Indians have chosen to travel far and wide for an opportunity to earn an attractive living. However, as growth at home has hit a more sustainable rate, immigration has slowed down in recent years.