Ch12 India Migration - Revision Notes

 CBSE Class 12 Geography 

Revision Notes
India-People and Economy

Chapter-2 Migration


Key Notes:

  • Migration has been an integral part and a very important factor in redistributing population over time and space
  • India has witnessed the waves of migrants coming to the country from Central and West Asia and also from Southeast Asia
  • Also large numbers of people from India too have been migrating to places in search of better opportunities specially to the countries of the Middle-East, Western Europe, America, Australia and East and South East Asia


  • In 1881 migration was first conducted by the Census of India
  • This data were recorded on the basis of place of birth
  • The first major modification was introduced in 1961 Census by bringing in two additional components viz;place of birth i.e. village or town and duration of residence (if born elsewhere)
  • In the Census of India migration is enumerated on two bases : 
    • place of birth, if the place of birth is different from the place of enumeration (known as life-time migrant)
    • place of residence, if the place of last residence is different from the place of enumeration (known as migrant by place of last residence)
  • In 2001 census, out of 1,029 million people in the country, 307 million (30%) were reported as migrants by place of birth,whereas in case of place of last residence the figure was 315 million(31%)

Streams of Migration

  • There are two types of migration:
    • Internal migration- Migration within the country
    • International migration- migration out of the country and into the country from other countries
  • Under the internal migration four streams are identified:
    • rural to rural (R-R)
    • ural to urban (R-U)
    • urban to urban (U-U)
    • urban to rural (U-R)
  • In India, during 2001, out of 315 million migrants, enumerated on the basis of the last residence, 98 million had changed their place of residence in the last ten years
  • Out of these, 81 million were intra- state migrants
  • Inter-State migration was dominated by female migrants. Most of these were migrants related to marriage
  • Females predominate the streams of short distance rural to rural migration in both types of migration
  • While men predominate the rural to urban stream of inter-state migration due to economic reasons
  • India also experiences immigration from and emigration to the neighbouring countries
  • According to 2001 Census, more than 5 million person have migrated to India from other countries
  • Out of these, 96% came from the neighbouring countries: Bangladesh (3.0 million) followed by Pakistan (0.9 million) and Nepal (0.5 million). Included in this are 0.16 million refugees from Tibet,Sri Lanka,Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Myanmar
  • Emigration from India is estimated that there are around 20 million people of Indian Diaspora, spread across 110 countries

Spatial Variation in Migration

  • States like Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat and Haryana attract migrants from other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, etc
  • Maharashtra occupied first place in the list with 2.3 million net in-migrants, followed by Delhi, Gujarat and Haryana. 
  • On the other hand,Uttar Pradesh (-2.6 million) and Bihar (-1.7 million) were the states, which had the largest number of net out-migrants from the state
  • Greater Mumbai received the highest number of in migrants. Intra-states migration constituted the largest share in it. These differences are largely due to the size of the state in which these Urban Agglomeration are located

Causes of Migration

  • Reasons of migration are categorised into two:
    • Push factor- In India people migrate from rural to urban areas mainly due to poverty, high population pressure on the land, lack of basic infrastructural facilities like health care, education, etc. Apart from these factors, natural disasters such as, flood, drought, cyclonic storms, earthquake,tsunami, wars and local conflicts also give extra push to migrate
    • Pull factors- The most important pull factor for majority of the rural migrants to urban areas is the better opportunities, availability of and relatively higher wages. Better opportunities for education, better health facilities and sources of entertainment, etc. are also quite important pull factors.
  • Reason for migration of males and females are different. For example, work and employment have remained the main cause for male migration (38%) while it is only 3% for the females
  • About 65% of females move out from their parental houses following their marriage. This is the most important cause in the rural areas of India except in Meghalaya where reverse is the case
  • In comparison to these marriage migration of the male, is only 2% in the country

Consequences of Migration

(1) Economic Consequences
Positive consequences are-

  • A major benefit for the source region is the remittance sent by migrants. Remittances from the international migrants are one of the major sources of foreign exchange
  • In 2002, India received US$ 11 billion as remittances from international migrants
  • Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu receive very significant amount from their international migrants.
  • Remittance sent by Internal migrants also plays an important role in the growth of economy of the source area
  • Remittances are mainly used for food, repayment of debts, treatment, marriages, children’s education, agricultural inputs, construction of houses, etc. 
  • Poor villages of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, etc.remittance works as life blood for their economy
  • Migration from rural areas of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa to the rural areas of Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh accounted for the success of their green revolution strategy for agricultural development

Negative consequences are

  • Unregulated.migration to the metropolitan cities of India has caused overcrowding
  • Development of slums in industrially developed states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi

(2) Demographic Consequences

  • Migration leads to the redistribution of the population within a country
  • Rural urban migration is one of the important factors contributing to the population growth of cities
  • Age and skill selective out migration from the rural area have adverse effect on the rural demographic structure
  • For eg, high out migration from Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Eastern Maharashtra have brought serious imbalances in age and sex composition in these states

(3) Social consequences

  • Migrants act as agents of social change. The new ideas related to new technologies, family planning, girl’s education, etc. get diffused from urban to rural areas through them
  • Migration leads to intermixing of people from diverse cultures
  • Positive contribution such as evolution of composite culture and breaking through the narrow considerations and widens up the mental horizon of the people at large
  • Negative consequences such as anonimity, which creates social vacuum and sense of dejection among individuals. It also leads to anti-social activities like crime and drug abuse

(4) Environmental Consequences

  • Overcrowding of people due to rural-urban migration has put pressure on the existing social and physical infrastructure in the urban areas which leads to unplanned growth of urban settlement and formation of slums shanty colonies
  • Due to over-exploitation of natural resources, cities are facing the acute problem of depletion of ground water, air pollution, disposal of sewage and management of solid wastes

(5) Other consequences

  • Migration (even excluding the marriage migration) affects the status of women directly or indirectly
  • In the rural areas, male selective out migration leaving their wives behind puts extra physical as well mental pressure on the women
  • Migration of ‘women’ either for education or employment enhances their autonomy and role in the economy but also increases their vulnerability
  • If remittances are the major benefits of migration from the point of view of the source region, the loss of human resources particularly highly skilled people is the most serious cost