Story in numbers: Job hunt, marriage major driver of internal migration

India went into lockdown on March 25. During the early phases of the lockdown, activities not contributing to the production and supply of essential goods and services were completely or partially suspended. Passenger trains and flights were halted.

The lockdown severely impacted migrants, several of whom lost their jobs because of the shutting of industries and being stranded outside their native places, wanting to return. Since then, the government has announced relief measures for migrants, and made arrangements for migrants to return to their native place. The Supreme Court, recognising the problems faced by migrants stranded in different parts of the country, reviewed transportation and relief arrangements made by the government.

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On June 9, the court directed the central and state governments to complete transportation of the stranded migrants and expand focus of relief measures to facilitate employment for those returning home.

Overview of migration

Migration is the movement of people away from their usual place of residence, across either internal (within country) or international (across countries) borders. The latest government data on migration comes from the 2011 Census. India had 456 million migrants in 2011 (38% of the population), compared to 315 million in 2001 (31% of the population). Between 2001 and 2011, while the population grew by 18%, the number of migrants jumped 45%. In 2011, 99% of migration was internal; immigrants comprised 1%.

On way to classify internal migrantion is: (i) Intra-state; (ii) inter-state. In 2011, intra-state movement accounted for almost 88% of all internal migration (396 million people).