As India becomes wealthier, 17 mn leave the country to settle abroad

The migrants are up from 7 million in 1990 and a 143% increase

Illustration by Binay Sinha

As India has become wealthier, more of its citizens are leaving its shores. An estimated 17 million Indians were living abroad in 2017, making India the largest source country for international migrants globally, up from 7 million in 1990 and a 143% increase, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of data from the United Nations Department of Economic Affairs. Over the same period, India’s per capita income increased by 522% (from $1,134 to $7,055), providing more people the means to travel abroad in search of employment opportunities they were not finding at home. At the ...