Southern districts in the State have experienced a decline in foreign remittances during 2011 while the northern districts registered an increase, with Malappuram receiving the largest amount of Rs.9,040 crore of the total Rs.49,695 crore overseas remittances.

A report of Kerala Migration Survey 2011 titled “Inflexion in Kerala's Gulf Connection” by K.C. Zachariah and S. Irudayarajan of the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) here states that the Christian and Muslim communities benefited the most from overseas remittances that flowed into the State last year.

Muslim households received Rs.23,089 crore or 46.5 per cent of the total remittances and Hindus received Rs.18,089 crore or 36.4 per cent. The Christian community received Rs.8,508 crore or 17.1 per cent.

As per the study, the share of Hindus and Christians is below their respective share of the total population of the State.

On an average, a Muslim household received Rs.1,35,111 as remittances a year. A Christian household received not even half that amount at Rs.59,175. In the case of Hindus, it was Rs.38,489.

A breakup of the total remittances showed that Thiruvananthapuram district received Rs.4,740 crore, Kollam - Rs.4,423 crore, Pathanamthitta -Rs.2,079 crore, Alappuzha -Rs.2,296 crore, Kottayam - Rs.2,419 crore, Idukki - Rs.182 crore, Palakkad - Rs.3,293 crore, Kozhikode - Rs.3,904 crore, Wayanad - Rs.578 crore, Kannur - Rs.5145 crore, and Kasaragod - Rs.1,177 crore.

Household remittances in Kerala for 2011 were estimated to be Rs.15,129 crore. It was Rs.12,151 crore for 2008 and Rs. 7,965 crore for 2003. As per the study, only 17.1 per cent of the households received remittances last year. In spite of the constancy of the proportion of households that received remittances, the proportion varies considerably by religion and by district.

It was as low as 11.4 per cent among Hindu households and 14.4 per cent among Christian households, but as much as 36.6 per cent among Muslim households. The CDS study found that it was as low as 2.2 per cent in Idukki district but as high as 36.3 per cent in Malappuram.

The number of Kerala emigrants in 2011 is estimated to be 2.28 million, up from 2.19 million in 2008, 1.84 million in 2003, and 1.36 million in 1998. The study, carried out with the support of the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) and the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, is based on primary data collected from 15,000 households selected at random by a stratified multistage random sampling technique covering the 63 taluks.