Conceptual issues in the measurement of internal migration in India

Ram B. Bhagat, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Migration influences social, political and economic life of people and no government can ignore developing a good statistical system on internal migration in a country. In India, migrants are not required to register either at the place of origin or at the place of destination. In absence of this, Census and National Sample Surveys (NSS) are two main sources of data on internal migration in India. This paper examines the two national sources of data on internal migration related to definitions of migrants, duration of migration, streams and reasons of migration. It brings out that given the importance of internal migration in the light of its HIV/AIDS and public health impacts, there is a need to account the seasonal migration/or floating migrant populations in the country. In addition, socio-political reasons such as communal riots and ethnic conflict also need to be incorporated explicitly in the reasons of internal migration in India.

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Presented in Session 23: Data and methods in the study of internal migration