Labour migration has increased substantially over years

Updated - June 09, 2020 09:52 am IST

Published - January 31, 2017 10:58 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The inter-state migration of workers in India has increased substantially to 90 lakh annually during 2011-16 compared to the previous years, according to the Economic Survey 2016-17.

The Survey arrived at a much larger estimate of labour migration in India by analysing Census data of 2011 and railway passenger traffic in the unreserved category during 2011-16.

“The first-ever estimate of internal work-related migration using railways data for the period 2011-16 indicate an annual average flow of close to 9 million (90 lakh) people between the states,” according to the Survey. Inter-state labour mobility average was between 5-6.5 million people in the 2001-2011 period, yielding an inter-state migrant population of about 60 million and an inter-district migration as high as 80 million, according to a new Cohort-based Migration Metrics.

“Both these estimates are significantly greater than the annual average number of about 3.3 million (33 lakh) suggested by successive Censuses and higher than previously estimated by any study,” the Survey noted.

The acceleration of migration was particularly high for women and increased at nearly twice the rate of male migration in the 2000s, according to the Survey.

“The patterns of migration observed conform to priors — less affluent states and districts evince higher out-migration, and rich metropolises attract large inward flows of labour.”

The largest recipient of migrant workers was the Delhi region, which accounted for more than half of migration in 2015-16, while Uttar Pradesh and Bihar together accounted for half of total out-migrants, as per the Survey.

“Over time, there has been a shift towards the southern states, reflecting the opening up of new migration corridors in recent years,” it added.

States such as Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat attracted large migrants from the Hindi hinterland of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Kolkata in West Bengal saw migrants coming in from nearly states of Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, the survey pointed out.

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