01.01.06. Migration | India

01.01.06. Migration | India

05 Jul 2022

Internal migration

As per Census 2011, there were 450 million internal migrants in India, which comprise of 37% of the total population (Rajan and Bhagat, 2021). The main directions of migration reported by an earlier NSS report (2007-2008) were rural to rural (62%), urban to urban (13%) and urban to rural (5%) (Rajan and Bhagat, 2021). The states that receive the most migration are Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Kerala, and Karnataka as per the Census 2011 (Rajan and Bhagat, 2021).

External migration

According to the World Migration Report (International Organization for Migration, 2019), Indians account for the largest proportion of individuals living outside of their country, with 17.5 million international migrants originating from India. The largest corridor of migration from India was reported to be to the United Arab Emirates in 2019 (International Organization for Migration, 2019).


International Organization for Migration. (2019). World Migration Report. Geneva: International Organization for Migration.

Rajan, I.S., Bhagat, B.R (2021). Internal migration in India: Integrating migration with development and urbanization policies. Thematic Working Group on Internal Migration and Urbanization of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) Available from: https://www.knomad.org/sites/default/files/2021-02/Policy%20Brief%20-%20Internal%20Migrationand%20Urbanization%20-%20India%20Policy%20Brief%2012%20Feb%202021.pdf