of 1.34 crore NRIs, more than 66% live in Gulf countries, and at 31 lakh, the greatest number of PIOs are in the US.
An Indian citizen who is ordinarily residing outside India yet holds an Indian passport is defined as a Non-Resident Indian, NRI. As per Indian Government data of March 2022, of the estimated 1.34 crore NRIs more than 66% live in the Gulf countries of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain.
An estimated 1.34 crore NRIs live in 210 countries, of these, 88.8 lakh overseas Indians live in six Gulf nations. While 34.1 lakh NRIs live in the United Arab Emirates, 25.9 lakh live in Saudi Arabia, followed by 10.2 lakh in Kuwait, 7.4 lakh in Qatar, 7.7 lakh in Oman, and 3.2 lakh in Bahrain.
About 12.8 lakh NRIs live in the US and the number of NRIs is 3.5 lakh for the UK, 2.4 lakh for Australia, 2.2 lakh for Malaysia, and 1.7 lakh for Canada.
Nagpur-based banker Abhay Kolarkar had sought the data pertaining to NRIs and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) under Right to Information (RTI) some time ago and External Affairs Ministry’s reply suggests that Indians have really made the whole world as one family.
Kolarkar explained the rationale behind his move and said he wanted to get a sense of the number of NRIs who might be affected in case of a war or a humanitarian crisis on foreign soil.
It is pertinent to note that the Gulf nations have very few PIOs, while the US has more such persons. A PIO is a person who or any of whose ancestors was an Indian national and who is presently holding another country’s citizenship or nationality meaning that he or she is holding a foreign passport.
At 31 lakh, the greatest number of PIOs are in the US as compared to other countries, followed by 27.6 lakh in Malaysia, 20 lakh in Myanmar, 16 lakh in Sri Lanka, and 15.1 lakh in Canada.