The leading regional destination for Hindus is the same as
their top region of origin: About six-in-ten Hindu migrants have moved to
countries in the Asia-Pacific region, where more than nine-in-ten originate. There has been substantial movement between the
South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and
Bhutan. But substantial numbers of Hindus also have moved to North America and
the Middle East-North Africa (mostly Gulf Cooperation Council countries).
Hindu migrants have come mostly from
India (more than 5 million) and Bangladesh (almost 3 million). Much smaller
numbers of Hindu migrants have come from the Pacific region known as Oceania
(particularly Fiji) and the Caribbean (particularly Trinidad and Tobago and
For Hindus, India is far and away the No. 1 destination
country. About 3.7 million Hindu immigrants have moved to India, principally
from neighboring countries, for reasons ranging from family reunification to
job opportunities. But those factors also sometimes operate in reverse, drawing
Hindus from India and nearby countries to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri
Lanka, which are among the Top 10 destinations – as well as among the Top 10
origins – for Hindu migrants.
Outside of South Asia, the United States has by far the most
Hindu immigrants: an estimated 1.3 million
first-generation (foreign-born) Hindus, most of whom have arrived in recent
decades. Significant Hindu migration also has occurred to the Arab
states of the Persian Gulf (especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates) and to the United Kingdom and Canada.