What is the biggest reason for migration in India?

Marriage is the biggest reason for migration in India

July 22, 2019 12:43 pm | Updated August 02, 2019 12:01 pm IST

Migrant workers leave for home from Ahmedabad. Photo for representation

Migrant workers leave for home from Ahmedabad. Photo for representation

What is the biggest driving force behind people in India moving out of home?

If you guessed employment, guess again. It's not for education, either. The most common reason for migration in India is marriage.

The finding, which was part of the 2011 Census, was published recently and showed that 46% of the total migrants moved because of marriage and of these, 97% were women. As many as 20.58 crore women in India migrated for marriage, the data shows. As per the Census, the total population of married women was 29.3 crore -- which means that 70% of married women had to migrate to another location.


Employment or business accounted for only 10% of total migrants, while education accounted for 1.2%.

India's business capital Mumbai has taken in the highest number of migrants -- as per the 2011 Census, there were 90 lakh immigrants in Mumbai, while Delhi stood second with 63%. Uttar Pradesh stood third, but there is a possibility that a large number of people moved to places close to Delhi (like Noida) and commuted to the capital for work.

The visualisations below show the biggest States from where people migrate to Maharashtra and Delhi. Bigger the circle, the more the number of migrants.


Gujarat, Haryana (again, proximity to Delhi is a big factor) and Madhya Pradesh are also among the top five destinations to which people migrate.

Although no southern State is among the top 10, Tamil Nadu (11th) had 16.5 lakh immigrants in 2011, the largest number in the south.

People moving from one rural area to another accounted for over half of the total internal migrants (53.84%), while rural to urban and urban to urban migration accounted for about 20% each.

The numbers also indicate that people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan account for 46% of the total number of migrants. Contrary to common perception, the northeast States are among those with the lowest numbers of immigrants -- the eight northeast States together accounted for just 2% of the total.

The first visualisations below shows the States which host the highest number of migrants, and the second shows the States from where the highest number of migrants originate.


The most common migration path was also the easiest one -- Uttar Pradesh to Delhi. As many as 28 lakh people had moved from the State to the capital city. Uttar Pradesh to Maharashtra and Karnataka to Maharashtra are also among the top three migration paths.

Among southern States, Karnataka to Andhra Pradesh and Kerala to Tamil Nadu are the most common migration patterns.

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