Migration Trends in India

A few facts pertaining to internal migration (within the country) and international migration (out of the country and into the country from other countries) are presented in this section.

Under the internal migration, four streams are identified:

  1. Rural to rural (R-R);
  2. Rural to urban (R-U);
  3. Urban to urban (U-U); and
  4. Urban to rural (U-R).
  • In India, as per the 2001 census, out of 1,029 million people, 307 million (30 per cent) were reported as migrants by place of birth.
  •  However, this figure was 315 million (31 per cent) in case of place of last residence.
  • Out of these 315 million migrants, 98 million had changed their place of residence in the last ten years.
  • Out of these, 81 million were intra-state migrants. Female migrants dominated the stream. Most of these were migrants related to marriage
Picture intra state migration
Picture inter state migration

Variation in migration profile between 1991 to 2001 for Delhi and Maharashtra

Picture variation in migration

Migration by place of birth

Picture migration by birth place

Profile of International Migration

Immigration: Census 2001 has recorded that more than 5 million people have migrated to India from other countries. Out of these, 96 per cent came from the neighbouring countries: Bangladesh (3.0 million) followed by Pakistan (0.9 million) and Nepal (0.5 million). Included in this are 0.16 million refugees from Tibet, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Myanmar.

Picture immigrants by last residence

Emigration: As far as emigration from India is concerned it is estimated that there are around 20 million people in the Indian Diaspora, spread across 110 countries.

Comparison of Some Migration Trends Between 2001 and 2011 Census

  • 45.36 crore people i.e. 37 per cent of the population or every third citizen of India is a migrants —now settled in a place different from their previous residence.
  • Between 2001 and 2011, the total number of migrants in India rose by 44.35 per cent from 31.45 crore in 2001.
  • During the same period, India’s population grew 17.64 per cent.
  • Most of the migrants, around 70 per cent, are females.

Migrants by Gender

Picture migrants by gender 1
  • Most people, 49 per cent, migrate for marriage (While globally, migration is an attempt by people to survive and prosper, in India, marriage appears to be the biggest reason why people migrate) Lesser Indians are now relocating for work and employment — 10.2 per cent in 2011, down from 14.4 per cent in 2001
  • Between 2001-2011, marriage was the dominant reason for migration among women, as was the case in the previous two decades. Around 21.7 crore of the 31.2 crore female migrants — 69.7 per cent —cited this reason. 65.9 per cent of women in 1981-1991 and 64.9 per cent in 1991-2001 migrated for the same reason. For men, ‘work and employment’ was the top reason, mentioned by three crores of the 14 crore male migrants.

Women migrate for marriage, men for work

Picture women migration for marriage
  • Further, data show that the bulk of the migrants (64 per cent) moved more than 10 years ago, up from 54 per cent in 2001.
Picture when people did migrate
Online Counselling
Table of Contents
Today's Current Affairs
This is default text for notification bar