A recent study by the Centre of Development Studies (CDS) in India has placed Singapore as the number one destination for citizens of India, especially those originating from Tamil Nadu, holding Indian passports.
This study was commissioned by the NRI Tamil Welfare Board, surveyed 20,000 households across Tamil Nadu, and revealed that 410,000 of the total 2.2 million Tamil Diaspora were residing in Singapore in 2015.
The study also revealed that following Singapore, the largest Tamil Nadu Diaspora is settled in the Gulf, mostly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia that accounted for 400,000 and 350,000 people respectively. Infact, the entire Gulf region (the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait) accounts for 1.1 million Tamil emigrants, half of the total emigrants from Tamil Nadu. These were followed by the US with 300,000 and Malaysia with 190,000 Tamil emigrants.
Tamil is also one of the official languages of Singapore, along with English, Malay and Chinese.
The total remittances to Tamil Nadu in 2015 were estimated at over $9 billion, which works out to be equivalent to 14% of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).