The Census of India has recently released the 2011 individual migration data. Although migration research is an age-old phenomenon in India, during the last decade the country has experienced a noticeable increase in human movement (314 million in the 2001 Census to 453 million in the 2011 Census). In India, out of the 1.21 billion population, nearly 453 million are migrants. The share of migrants to the total population in India is more than 37.4 percent. In other words, four out of every ten people in India are migrants. The following interactive dashboard shows migration patterns across the states in India as reported by the 2011 census of India.



The 2011 Census data on the overall regional migration patterns in India indicates the emergence of geographical pockets in the country. The southern states of India, which have become more industrially well-developed after the introduction of economic reforms, experience more mobility than the agriculturally-developed states of North India. It is indicative of a shift in the course of migration stream from agriculturally-developed states to industrialised states. In North India, only Uttar Pradesh reported the size of its migrant population which stood at 17.55 million. The state added 7.47 million migrants in the last decade, registering a record 74.1 percent growth. The state of Maharashtra, which is the financial capital of India, has reported the highest number of migrants (22.89 million). The State added only 7.11 million migrants, registering a slow growth rate (45.5 percent) which was lower than the national average (64 percent). The emergence of southern Indian states as favourable destinations for migration was noticeable. States like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh experienced a phenomenal increase in the number of migrants. The state of Tamil Nadu reported 12.39 million migrants in the 2011 Census, while it was only 3.95 million in the 2001 Census. The State added the highest number of migrants (8.47 million) among all states in India, registering a growth rate of 213.7 percent. The states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka had 12.29 million and 10.49 million migrants respectively; of these, 4.67 million and 4.71 million migrants respectively were added during the intercensal period. The number of migrants in Kerala was 6.38 million. The State also recorded a phenomenal growth of migrants in the intercensal period. In eastern India, West Bengal has a sizeable migrant population (10.33 million) with a 48 percent growth rate, which is lower than the national average of 64 percent. Most of the North-Eastern States, which are less attractive to migrants as compared to the rest of India, also registered a phenomenal increase in the number of migrants. The state of Assam recorded a 105 percent increase in the number of migrants. Other North-Eastern States like Manipur (281 percent), Meghalaya (307 percent) and Nagaland (225 percent) recorded tremendous growth in spatial mobility. The volume of migrants in Meghalaya is 3.02 lakh, Nagaland 2.82 lakh, and Manipur 2.62 lakh respectively. Interestingly, the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, which holds 2.9 million migrants in the 2011 Census, registered a significant low in migration growth (23.8 percent) over the intercensal period as compared to the 2001 Census (42.5 percent).

The percentage distribution of migrants with respect to the total population of states indicates regional concentration as observed in the 2001 Census. However, within the intercensal period the proportionate share has increased in all states. The state of Tamil Nadu reported the highest percentage point increase over the intercensal period. In the 2001 Census, the proportionate share of migrants to the total population was only 6 percent, while the 2011 Census reported more than 17 percent with a nearly 11 percentage point increase. In the 2001 Census, states like Goa, NCT of Delhi, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat reported a considerable percentage of migrant population to the total state population. In the 2011 Census, the western region of the country, i.e. Gujarat and Maharashtra, along with the southern region comprising Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, reported a higher proportion of migrants to the total population in the last decade than the rest of India (Map 2). In Maharashtra, migrants constitute 20.38 percent of the total population of the state as per the 2011 Census. In Gujarat, the proportion of migrants (whose duration of residence is less than one year to nine years) in the total population is 17 percent (Map 2). These are the states which are industrially well-developed, but scope for urban informal work may lead to the high concentration of migrants. Although the southern states are emerging as the industrial hub of India, largescale emigration to the Middle Eastern countries still takes place. As a result, labourers from distant states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Assam landed in most of the southern states to fill the labour vacuum.