The largest number of Indian migrants are found in the US, followed by Malaysia, while for the Chinese, the top two host countries are Indonesia and Thailand.

Indian migrants include non-resident Indians and holders of persons of Indian origin cards, according to the external affairs ministry's definition.

But Indian migrants constitute a much more significant percentage of the population in the Gulf and Caribbean, even though their absolute numbers are smaller there. Mauritius, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are the top three places in terms of the percentage of Indian migrants. (See table below.)

Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia host about one third of Chinese migrants, who also constitute a significant percentage of these countries' total population. The largest proportion of Chinese migrants is in Singapore, where they are more than two-thirds of the population. The flourishing Chinese communities in these countries play an active, and in some cases dominant, role in finance and trade with China. (See table below.)

Old trade relationships account for much of Indian migration to southeast Asia, with Tamils, Malayalis and Sikhs making up much of the immigrant population in the east.

The Chinese began migrating to the West in large numbers much later than Indians although there are old populations settled in the USA and Canada - those who left during Communist rule.

The US is still high on both lists because it is seen as the land of opportunity. Education is drawing both Indians and Chinese to the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The number of Indian students in the US in 2013-2014 rose by 37% from the previous year.

Of late, however, many Indians have been heading to Italy and other European countries as temporary base to then move to English-speaking countries.

India and China account for 36.7% of the world’s population.