Inter-State Migration of Workers in India

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According to the Economic Survey 2016-17, the inter-state migration of workers in India has increased substantially to 90 lakh annually between 2011-16.

The first-ever estimate of internal work-related migration using railways data for the period 2011-16 indicates an annual average flow of close to 9 million (90 lakh) people between the states.

Inter-state labour mobility average was between 50–65 lakh people in the 2001-2011 period, yielding an inter-state migrant population of about 6 crore and an inter-district migration as high as 8 crore.

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 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.

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