07 December 2011

Delhi Hosts the Highest Number of Immigrants in India

The national capital is becoming the top choice migrants in India as the latest survey by Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS) reveals that Delhi hosts the highest number of immigrants in India. The IIHS report states that highest stream of migration is from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Analyzing the available information including the preliminary data of 2011 census, the National Sample Survey (2007-2008), and the 2001 Census, IIHS researchers stated that it is not Maharashtra but Delhi is the top destination for the inter-state migrants is India.

Dealing with the influx of migrants, not only Delhi city, India’s other cities also have accommodated a large number of migrants in the last decade.  This new study rewrites the existing assumptions of social scientists about India’s top migration statistics as it denotes Delhi as the hub for migrants.  Reportedly the highest migration course to Delhi is from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Each of this state releases 3 lakhs of emigrants over the past decade. Other top migration streams are UP to Maharashtra, Bihar to West Bengal, Tamil Nadu to Kerala, Bihar to UP, Haryana to Delhi, UP to Gujarat, Kerala to Tamil Nadu and Andhra to Karnataka.

According to the available preliminary data of 2011 census, the net migration from rural to urban India has marked a significant increase. The earlier migration assumptions claimed that the migration targets will be the adjacent suburban areas such as Gurgaon and Noida.
According to the 2001 census, Maharashtra received the largest number of migrants. It was about 7.9 million whereas Delhi housed 5.6 million migrants where as the 1991 census revealed that Maharashtra had only 4.3 million migrants and 3.7 million in Delhi.  The migration over the decade shows the demographic increase of relocation.  The 2001 census reported that the percentage of migration is higher than the average of population increase over the decade.

 "There are a large number of service sector jobs on offer in Delhi, increasingly in the informal sector," says IIHS Director Aromar Revi. He mentioned that the highest per capita income and income growth brought Delhi as the hub of migrants compared to other Indian metro cities. Delhi concentrates much more on wealth, resources, infrastructure and quality of urban services than other metros. The national capital offers a relatively higher education and health system, he added.  "In addition to providing a large number of night shelters for the working homeless, Delhi is more accepting of migrants than cities like Mumbai, which are increasingly intolerant of them."

Social scientists are more thoughtful of the migration statistics of the caste. While states like Orissa, Bihar, and UP send their large number of people for labour jobs, the average of the upper caste migration is not negligible too. Talking to Times of India, Mohammad Tarique, Assistant Professor of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences said, “The same caste system that inhibits lower castes from rising up the economic ladder prevents the upper castes from performing menial jobs to earn a living. The anonymity of cities like Delhi allows a Brahmin to work as a rickshaw-puller, whereas the caste hierarchy would make it hard for him to do so in his hometown, even if his family is starving," while mentioning the ‘upper-caste’ migration affinity to Delhi. A prominent Architect and Former President of the Institute of Urban Designers India, KT Ravindran says, "While a large proportion of Delhi's migrants work in the non-formal sector, Delhi's master plan assumes that the city can weed out the non-formal sector altogether. This despite the fact that the city's economy is not prepared for such a shift."
The IIHS report says that migration is not the key factor for urban population but the natural growth contributes.  Another fascinating fact about migration is that the female migration rate goes higher than the male. Women generally migrated due to marriage while men move out for employment.

Other than marriage and employment, business, education and family relocation causes the higher rate of migration.  Forced migration is also taken place in a rate of two percentages. Natural disasters, dislocation and socio-economic reasons are counted as the main reason for forced migration.