Indian Diaspora In Europe

  • Indian emigration to Europe has been limited because of strict immigration policies.
  • Some West European countries relaxed their immigration laws for Asians due to labour shortages created by economic boom in 50-60s.
  • Desire in EU to overtake USA as the most competitive and knowledge-based has opened new opportunities for India’s skilled human resources and especially its IT experts.
  • Demographic factors, i.e., aging population of West Europe, have also increased their dependence on young workers from developing countries.
  • Computer experts and other professionals such as engineers, nurses, business managers, teachers, scientists etc., are therefore permitted to immigrate in restricted numbers.
  • There has been a growing interest in EU member States in attracting Indian IT experts, who have already made a mark in the US.
  • Size of Indian community in East/Central Europe is very limited, comprising of students, businessmen & professionals. Since 1990, however, number of Indian students in higher educational institutions of these countries has declined.
Indian Diaspora In Europe


Indian emigration to UK and West Europe is largely a phenomenon of 20th Century, when a significant proportion of Indian communities migrated to metropolitan centres when former colonies achieved independence.

  • Surinamese Indians emigrated to Netherlands; Indians from Madagascar, Mauritius and Indochina went to France; and from Mozambique and Angola they went to Portugal.
  • By far largest numbers headed towards UK from East Africa and India.
  • Indians comprise about 1.4 million people in UK (2.3 % of total population), making them single largest visible ethnic minority population there.
  • From humble origins in industrial and retail sectors, Indian community has risen to become the highest earning and best-educated groups in UK.
  • Indians have achieved eminence in business, information technology, health sector, media and entertainment industries.
  • British industrialists of Indian origin, including Lakshmi Mittal, the Hinduja brothers and Swaraj Paul. The Indian community in Britain has made its presence felt in the political arena as well.
  • Rishi Sunak became PM of UK. Priti Patel, Alok Sharma are part of UK cabinet under previous Government.
  • Indians have been among elected representatives of British Parliament from as early as 1892 when Dadabhai Naoroji became MP.
  • In Labour Party, Goan-origin Keith Vaz has been longest serving MP of Asian descent in British Parliament. He represented Leicester East from 1987 to 2019 and was country’s minister of State for European Affairs from 1999 to 2001.
  • Contribution of PIOs in media, literature and cinema is increasingly recognised in mainstream British society. Indian community runs several TV channels, radio-stations, newspapers & magazines.
  • Indian community has formed several social, cultural and political organisations. Wealthy PIOs have trusts or charities for projects pertaining to health, education or other infrastructure in their home states and villages in India.
  • Indian community in UK occupies a unique position, enriching British culture, society and politics and contributing to making UK a genuinely multi-cultural society.
  • PIOs have strong affinity with India. Community leaders have displayed considerable interest in promoting bilateral relations & investment and supporting philanthropic projects in India.
  • They have lent support to efforts to form pro-India lobby groups in major political parties.
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