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Labour migration increasing at accelerating pace: Eco Survey

NEW DELHI, Jan 31:  The Economic Survey today stated that the inter-state migration of labour is significantly higher than previous estimates and the annual average flow was close to 9 million migrants between states during 2011-16.
“New estimates of labour migration in India have revealed that inter-state labour mobility is significantly higher than previous estimates,” said the Economic Survey 2016-17 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament today.
According to the document, the study based on the analyses of new data sources and methodologies also shows that the migration is accelerating and was particularly pronounced for females.
The data sources used are the 2011 Census and railway passenger traffic flows of the Ministry of Railways and new methodologies, including the Cohort-based Migration Metric (CMM).
It said the new CMM shows that inter-state labour mobility averaged 5-6.5 million people between 2001 and 2011, yielding an inter-state migrant population of about 60 million and an inter-district migration as high as 80 million.
The first-ever estimates of internal work-related migration using railway data for 2011-16 indicate an annual average flow of close to 9 million migrant people among the states, it said.
Both estimates are significantly greater than the annual average flow of about 4 million suggested by successive censuses and higher than previously estimated by any study, it noted.
“The migration for work and education is accelerating. In 2001-11, the rate of growth of labour migrants nearly doubled relative to the previous decade, rising to 4.5 per cent per annum,” it said.
The acceleration of migration was particularly pronounced for females and increased at nearly twice the rate of males in the 2000s. There is also a doubling of the stock of inter-state outmigrants to nearly 12 million in the 20-29 year old cohort alone.
One possible hypothesis for this acceleration in migration is the rewards — in the form of prospective income and employment opportunities — have become greater than the costs and risks that migration entails.
Higher growth and a multitude of economic opportunities could, therefore, have been the catalyst for such a greater pace of migration, it said. (PTI)

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