As per the latest data available with the Ministry of External Affairs, there are an estimated 2.82 crore NRIs/PIOs across the world in 146 different countries. Nine of the 146 countries have more than a million NRIs/PIOs each accounting for nearly 70% of the total Indian diaspora.
The Prime Minister recently inaugurated the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra’ in New Delhi and said that the Indian diaspora across the world should not only be looked at in terms of numbers, but also its strength. As far as numbers are concerned, there are an estimated 2.82 crore NRIs/PIOs across the world in 146 different countries according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
NRIs/PIOs/OCI Card Holders
The Indian diaspora living across the world has been categorized into broadly 3 types
- Non Resident Indians (NRIs): An Indian citizen who is ordinarily residing outside India and holds an Indian Passport
- Person of Indian Origin (PIO): A person who or whose any of ancestors was an Indian national and who is presently holding another country’s citizenship/ nationality i.e. he/she is holding foreign passport
- Overseas Citizen of India (OCI): A person registered as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder under section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955
From 2015, both the PIO & OCI schemes have been merged and the PIO card scheme has been discontinued. All existing PIO card holders are now deemed to be OCI cardholders. Details of who is eligible to register for an OCI card and the various benefits/facilities extended to both NRIs and OCI cardholders are available on the Ministry of Home Affairs website.
These 9 countries account for 70% of all NRIs/PIOs
As of April 2016, there are an estimated 2.82 crore NRIs/PIOs across the world in 146 different countries. Only 9 of these 146 countries have more than a million NRIs/PIOs each and account for nearly 70% of the 2.82 crore NRIs/PIOs. USA has the most number of NRIs/PIOs (44.6 lakh) followed by Saudi Arabia (29.6 lakh) and UAE (26.03 lakh). Malaysia is the only other country with more than 2 million NRIs/PIOs. The other countries in the million plus club include United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Myanmar and Canada.
Two of these 9 countries are in North America, one in Africa, one in Europe, two in the Middle East, one in East Asia and two in South Asia.
54 Countries have less than 1000 NRIs/PIOs each
Out of the 146 countries, 54 have less than 1000 NRIs/PIOs each. These include countries like Serbia, Croatia, Somalia, Palestine, Bolivia, Tunisia, Turkey, Namibia, Hungary, Senegal etc. Thirty-Eight (38) other countries have between 1000 and 10000 NRIs/PIOs that include countries like Brazil, Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Afghanistan, Mexico, Finland, Iran, Egypt etc. Twenty-Seven (27) other countries have between 10000 and a lakh NRIs/PIOs including countries like Norway, Sweden, Bhutan, China, Kenya, Spain, Ireland, Japan etc. Eighteen (18) countries have between a lakh and a million NRIs/PIOs. These include countries like France, Germany, Thailand, Guyana, Fiji, Australia, Nepal, Qatar, Oman etc.
Featured Image: www.narendramodi.in