Date:06/11/2005 URL:


30% of population is migrant: report

Special Correspondent

Maharashtra received the largest number from other States and countries

  • Of the 1.02 billion people, 307 million are migrants
  • Substantial proportion migrated at least 20 years ago

    NEW DELHI: As much as 30 per cent of the country's population is migrant, according to the 2001 census figures. Of the 1.02 billion people, 307 million are reported as migrants by place of birth or those enumerated at a place other than that.

    This proportion (excluding Jammu and Kashmir) was slightly more than what was reported in the 1991 census (27.4 per cent), indicating a steady increase in the number of migrants. Whereas in 1961, there were about 144 million migrants by place of birth, in the 2001 census the figure stood at 307 million.

    During 1991-2001, the number of migrants (excluding J&K) rose by 32.9 per cent in comparison to the country's population, which recorded a growth of 21.5 per cent. Maharashtra received the largest number of migrants — 7.9 million (by place of birth) from other States and other countries, followed by Delhi (5.6 million) and West Bengal (5.5 million). In the 1991 census, the corresponding figures were 4.3 million, 3.7 million and 5.1 million.

    A substantial proportion among the total number of migrants (101 million) migrated at least 20 years ago and about 98.3 million or 31.2 per cent reported as migrants shifted residence over the past decade. A high growth (53.6 per cent) among inter-State migrants has been observed, but there is a 13.4 per cent decline among those who came from other countries between 1991 and 2001.

    About 42.4 million of a total of 65.4 million women migrants cited marriage as the main reason. Of the 32.8 million men, 12.3 million cited work. The other reasons were business (1.1 million or 1.2 per cent), education (2.9 million or three per cent) and other factors (9.5 million or 9.7 per cent). Rural to rural migration within the country was 53.3 million and rural to urban 20.5 million. Urban to rural migration was 6.2 million while urban to urban migration was 14.3 million.

    The census figures, released by the Registrar-General of India, indicate that the States showed marginal gains or losses in terms of the migration ratio between 1991and 2001, except the Union Territories of Daman and Diu (44.1 per cent) and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (32.6 per cent).

    Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were the only two States with the largest number of people migrating out. As many as 2.6 million people left Uttar Pradesh and 1.7 million left Bihar. Of the 47 per cent growth in the population of Delhi between 1991and 2001, migration constituted 18.7 per cent while in Chandigarh, it accounted for 21.4 per cent population against the overall growth of 40.3 per cent.

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