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Indian immigrants flock to US

November -0001, 30
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Indian immigrants flock to US

A new report from an American think-tank has revealed that immigrants arriving from India now make up the third largest group in the US.

Figures released by the Migration Policy Institute showed that close to 1.9 million Indians have emigrated to the US, an upward trend which has rocketed in the last 50 years.

A change to the population

The shift towards emigration to the US for Indian residents has only started to take hold in the last 50 years, with a rapid explosion in the numbers starting to make the move.

In 1960, there were less than 12,000 Indian immigrants living in the US, just a tiny proportion of overseas residents living in the country. At the time, there were 9.7 immigrants according to official figures, of which Indian nationals made up just 0.5%.


Indian style dancing in California

Indian style dancing in California
Things have drastically changed in the last five decades with the number of Indian immigrants climbing by more than 150 times. A recent study calculated that out of the 40.4 immigrants living in the US today, close to 5% were born in India, a total of 1.9 million. In fact, the change has been so great that only Mexicans and Chinese immigrants have a greater presence.

Immigration trends

The report from the Migration Policy Institute didn't just look at overall numbers of immigrants arriving from other policies; it also considered trends upon arrival.

One in three arrivals from India opted to settle in either New Jersey or California, a very distinct pattern for immigration. Texas and Illinois also have relatively large Indian immigrant populations, with both having over 100,000 individuals. This could be narrowed down even further with a quarter of Indian immigrants living in one of just three large and busy metropolitan areas: San Jose, Chicago and New York.

The think-tank identified study and education as a significant reason for individuals arriving from India in the US. The largest group of individuals studying at a US institution came from China, with Indian nationals a close second. During the 2011-2012 academic year, 764,495 international students were registered of which 100,270 (13%) were from India. Around 25% were from China.

High standard of living for Indian immigrants noted

The standard of living for the majority of Indian-born arrivals was also noted to be far superior to the immigrant population in general, with many individuals already holding strong English language skills on arrival and holding employment-based visas. Experts have suggested that these reasons could explain at least in part why Indian nationals enjoy a significantly more comfortable lifestyle in the US, with far fewer living below the federal poverty line compared to other immigrant groups.


Many Indian residents find getting a visa to the US results in a permanent change of lifestyle. During 2012, there were in excess of 66,000 Indian nationals who were granted legal permanent residency in the US whilst 42,928 were naturalised. This figure represents around 6% of the total number of new US citizens (757,434) created during the same year.

Indian Visa to US

Many Indian Nationals are choosing to become US citizens and trade in their Indian passports

Of the immigrants that arrive from India, around three in every ten men find a career in information technology whilst their female counterparts more often work within business, finance or management. Despite the success of Indian women living in the US, there are still more men who emigrate from India every year.

The information for the study was collected from the Department of Homeland Security, the US Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey plus the 2000 Decennial Census.


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