Migration – A Quantitative Analysis




Lately we have seen this coming up as a major issue and finding a great TRP for news channel. The hue and cry about the issue and the implication of speeches of leaders fighting against migration and those favouring it has led to the sufferage and humility by most of the non-Marathis(I don’t want to use this phrase, but this is the common usage these days and so people are familiar with this phrase more than any relative of this phrase) in the state of Maharashtra. The people who were beaten mercilessly were mostly poor people belonging to lower income group and ofcourse were easily vulnerable to these attacks on them.

I am not here to play a blame game and opine who is right and who is wrong. We all know the issue and can have our own opinion about this issue though this has certainly effected the thawing relationship between the countrymen.

Why do people migrate leaving their comfort zones to an alien space where everyone is a stranger? Why will one want to migrate? These are the questions the answers of which are needed to be known.

Migration may arise out of various social, economic or political reasons. At this point in time when many states are undergoing economic development the migration has increased and has become an important issue that needs to be addressed.

What is migration? When a person is enumerated at a different place than his/her place of birth, he/she is considered a migrant. This may be due to marriage, which is the most common reason for migration among females-and for males its generally due to work. It also happens that many return to their place of birth after staying out. To capture such movements of population census collect information on migration by last helps to understand the current migration scenario better. In India, as per census 2001, about 307 million person have been reported as migrants by place of birth. Out of them about 259 million (84.2%), migrated from one part of the state to another, i.e., from one village or town to another village or town. 42 million (2%) from out side the country. The data on migration by last residence in India as per Census 2001 shows that the total number of migrants has been 314 million. Out of these migrants by last residence, 268 million (85%) has been intra-state migrants, those who migrated from one of the state to another. 41 million (13%) were interstate migrants and 5.1 million (1.6%) migrated from out side of the country.

Opportunities in urban areas for employment, education, etc have been a pull factor attracting migrants from rural to urban areas and from smaller towns and cities to larger urban areas. There is also migration in the opposite direction from urban to rural areas due to various reasons. 

Out of about 98 million, total intra-state and inter-state migrants in the country during last decade, 61 million have moved to rural areas and 36 million to urban areas. Migration stream out of rural areas(73 million) to another rural areas was quite high (53million) in comparison to from rural to urban areas (20 million). About 6 million migrants went to rural areas from urban areas. On the basis of net migrants by last residence during the past decade, i.e., the difference between in – migration and out – migration, in each state, Maharastra stands at the top of the list with 2.3 million net migrants, followed by Delhi (1.7 million), Gujrat (0.68 million) and Haryana (0.67 million) as per census. Uttar Pradesh (-2.6 million) and Bihar (-1.7 million) were the two states with largest number of net migrants migrating out of the state. There are various reasons for migration as per information collected in Census 2001 for migration by last residence. Most of the female migrants have cited ‘Marriage’ as the reason for migration, especially when the migration is within the state. For males, the major reasons for migration are ‘work/employment’ and ‘education’.

These statistics show that one of the main reasons for migration is ‘work/employment’. So, if we want to check migration then the government should generate employment opportunities for the people in their area of residence, village, city, district and state. Migration increases the burden on the resource availabe in area where migrants move. This is a general common sense. Suppose a city is planned for only 10000 people and 20000 people migrate to this city increasing the population to 30000, what will be the impact on the city? Take an example, we all must have used buses or trains to travel. Now bus has 52 seats. We all are comfortable when few seats remain vaccant. It is okay if all 52 seats get filled. Now what if, say 5 more people are also allowed to board the bus. It will be unconvenient for them as well as others. Another example can be of General bogie and yet another can be of Local trains in Mumbai.

No one wants to live in jam-packed cities. Once one of the finest cities, Bangalore, now suffers from traffic congestions. It takes horrible time to get from one place to another because of traffic jams all around the city. The reason is that population of city has increased as more migrants have travelled to the city for ‘work/employment’ opportunities.

This is the high time that we look into the matter and come out with plans that cater to the development of employment opportunities in all states rather then concentrating on few cities. Otherwise the migrants to these cities will increase and hinder in the infrastructural growth of these cities.

I belong to Agra in Uttar Pradesh. Why I am working in Pune? The reason is that I have employment opportunity better here than in my city. Rather there is nothing like opportunity in Agra. I work as a Software Engineer. If we had industries in Agra, why would have I moved. I would have stayed there with my family and lived there happily.

Hope we see growth everywhere in our country and people don’t have to migrate to other places leaving their relatives and comfort zone behind!!

//Data courtesy: Census of India

Note:  This post was originally posted on 4th April 2008 on Renaissance

7 Responses to “Migration – A Quantitative Analysis”
  1. vardhna says:

    I totally support the view that inequitable distribution of recourses has lead to an unstable and unsatisfactory dynamics between urban and rural population. Lack of resources leads to loss of livelihood in rural areas which push people into cities. Migrant population is at disadvantage since education, health, immunization of such population is rarely concern of authorities. But is migration totally and wholly unnecessary? Movement is inherent nature of human beings… Migration can not be avoided but lot more can be done for such population in terms of policies and provisions.

  2. palakmathur says:

    Migration is neither totally unnecessary nor is unavoidable. Movement is necessary and will continue to happen. But if the resources are proper and planned then this movement will not happen in a unidirection.

  3. I agree with your analysis of the problem. To tackle this issue, India will need to change its entire development strategy. India still lives in 5 million small villages. Economy of these villages is dependent on agriculture and if we want to stop the migration, India should give more importance to agriculture and allied industries. But looks like our government is still happy with the growth rate. The Human development index which truely represents the development is totally neglected. When the campaigns like India shining are publicized in by the media, the main issues get automatically sidelined. Same is the case with migration.

    Simple migrations also would not have created much problem if the cities of India would have really flourishing and generating new employments. Instead of that, in cities the number of jobs remain same, but the labour supply increases with the migration and hence the people get more exploited and also the competition within the labour class increases which causes the clashes between natives and migrants.

    In my opinion, this issue is fundamental to Indian Economy and will need structural adjustments in the framework of Indian economy.

  4. palakmathur says:

    Yes, it is true. We need some changes in our policies. While reading India 2008, I came across the measures that govt is taking and the schemes projected towards making the people comfortable in their own place of birth. However, the question is does these reach out to the masses. I was surprised to see so many schemes and my ignorance of many of these. I fear how many people know that these schmemes exist. Very few!! So Govt and Bureaucracy should work to reach the masses.

  5. I am not satisfied with schems, simply becuase if we check the amount of money invested in these schems, it is very less. Though there are many schems, they hardly can tackle any issues. Just for the facts, India allocates less than 2% of budget to agriculture, is that going to be sufficient?

  6. palakmathur says:

    Yes, the budget allocated is less. However, still if the currently running schemes are made known to the masses, it will certainly make differnece.

  7. I really don’t think so..The schems like a pension of rupees 100 etc are ridiculous in nature…
    These schems are just to fool the people. Also these schems leave lot of room for the corruption which is exploited to fullest by the political workers of the ruling party.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • QR Code


%d bloggers like this: