Human Migration in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 26, 2022, 12:01

Human migration refers to the movement of people from one part of a country to another or from one country to another. It can be of two types: voluntary migration or involuntary migration.

The International Organisation for Migration (under United Nations) defines a 'migrant' as anyone who has moved or is planning to move across the country, international borders, or within a State. Read Factors Affecting Human Migration in India below.

Types and Factors of Human Migration in India

There are two types of Human Migration in India -

  • Internal Migration
  • External Migration

Internal Migration refers to a situation where people move within a country or state. External Migration refers to a situation where people move to another country or state.

Two types of internal migration are predominant in India.

They are:

  • Long-term Migration results in the relocation or reorganisation of an individual or a household.
  • Short-term Migration involves back and forth movement between a destination and a source.

Migration is a global phenomenon that is not just caused by economic factors but also many other factors such as politics, culture, and health. These factors are all included in the following larger classifications of immigration:

  • Push Factor: These factors force people to leave their home (outmigration) to move to another place.
  • Pull Factors: These are the factors that attract migrants (in-migration to an area).

Causes for Human Migration in India

Employment: The search for better jobs in trade, transportation, and services is one of the main reasons for interstate and intrastate migration:

  • Seasonal Migration: Seasonally, people migrate to different regions and industries searching for work
  • Many people who are from drought-prone areas migrate to agricultural work, brickmaking, construction, or tile factories
  • Repeat Migration or Circular migration is a temporary, often repetitive movement of migrant workers between host and home. This is usually for employment purposes

Education: Due to insufficient educational facilities in their hometown, many people move to cities for internal migration or to other countries for international migration to find better academic opportunities.

Insecurity: Inter-ethnic conflict and political disturbances are other reasons for internal or external migration.

Marriage: The most important social factor in internal migration is marriage. In the case of intrastate migrants, the majority of migration occurs from one rural area to another.

Disaster-Induced and Environmental Factors: Many migrants are forced to relocate from rural areas to urban areas or from one country to another because of environmental catastrophes such as drought, floods, heatwaves, etc., which could have caused damage to their homes and farms.

Impact of Human Migration in India

There are both positive and negative impacts on Human Migration in India.

Some positive impacts are Labour Supply and Demand, Economic Remittances, Skill Development, Quality of Life, Social Remittances, Food and Nutrition Security, Demographic Advantage, and Climate Change Adaptive Method.

Some negative impacts are Demographic Profile, Political Exclusion, Population Explosion, illiterate migrants, an increase in the number of slums, and Brain Drain.

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Human Migration in India Challenges

Some of the challenges of Human Migration in India include:

  • Integration and inclusion of migrants: India isn't a favourable country for internal migration. As such, policies are frequently aimed at reducing it. There is no integration of migration with development
  • Psychological and emotional stress
  • Unacceptable treatment by employers
  • Contract Wage
  • Health Dangers
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Human Migration in India - Overview

The Human Development Report from United Nations Development Programme (2009, 2009) highlights the importance of migration to human development. It plays an important role in reaching sustainable development goals. Hence, preventing migration may even be counterproductive.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation highlighted the fact that policies and programs to facilitate the integration of migrants at destinations are weak or non-existent and recommended the inclusion and integration of migrants in development.

India must formulate migration-centric strategies and policies and institutional mechanisms to ensure inclusive growth, development, and decrease distress-induced migration, thus increasing India's chances of poverty reduction and reaching Sustainable Development Goals.

The Centre must provide social security and amenities for the migrant population. This population is plagued with issues such as inadequate housing, low-paid, insecure work, the extreme vulnerability of women to trafficking and sexual exploitation, and poor housing. Schemes like the Kerala government's Health Insurance scheme, Apna Ghar Project-accommodation and rights for migrants- provide basic rights for workers in their home states, even if they work in other countries.

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FAQs on Human Migration in India

Q1. What is the nature of Human Migration in India?

Human Migration in India is mostly internal and mainly comprises two types -

Long-term migration, which results in the displacement of a household or an individual; Short-term migration, which involves moving back and forth between the origin and the destination.

Q2. What is one major reason for Human Migration in India?

There are various causes for Human Migration in India but the major reason is the inability to find employment and the meagre amount of jobs readily available.

Q3. Which city has the highest inflow in terms of Human Migration in India?

In terms of the proportion of immigrants to the total population of those UAs, Delhi UA was the highest, with in-migrants comprising 16.4 per cent of the number of people living in Delhi UA. Greater Mumbai (15.1 per cent) and Bangalore UA (13.4%) were the next cities with the highest inflow in terms of Human Migration in India.

Q4. Which state of India has the highest outflow in terms of Human Migration in India?

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have the highest outflows (Uttar Pradesh 23 %, Bihar 13 %.) are the state of India has the highest outflow in terms of Human Migration in India.