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Migration-inter-regional-intraregional and international UPSC |Cultural Setting | Geography of India

In tourism case, movement of people from one place to another place for please, training, medical treatment. It is temporary in nature.
Migration means the movement of people from one location to another location from temporary to permanent. Migration generally happened in search of better opportunities such as jobs, education, and others. In some cases, migration is painful.

As per the 2011 census, there are 1210 million and 455.8 million, or 37 % of the population were migrated from their last residence.

There are two types of migration:

  • International migration
  • Internal migration
    • Intra region or intrastate
    • Inter-regional or interstate

International migration:

Change of residence to other countries is called international migration.

There is three-wave of out-migration( emigration) from India:

First wave: Colonial period:

Million of labor were sent to many island nations for plantation work under the Girmit Act ( Indian Emigration Act), it is a time-bound contract but the living standard of these laborers was not better than slaves.

Britisher sent labor From Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to Mauritius, Caribbean island ( Trinidad, Tobago, Guyana), Fizi, South Africa.

French, Dutch, Portuguese sent from Goa, Daman, and Diu to Reunion island, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Suriname, Angola, Mozambique.

The second wave of out-migration:

Semi-skilled and skilled professionals such as artisans, traders, and factory workers migrated to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, African countries in search of economic opportunities.

1970 oil boom in west Asia leads to an outflow of entrepreneurs, workers, professionals, and businesses men to move west Asia.

The Third wave of out-migration:

  • Doctors, engineers, software engineers, management, consultant, and financial experts migrated to the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany.
  • Migrants were highly educated, professional, highest earner group and contributed to the development of their respective countries.

International in-migration:

  • More than 5 million people came to India as per the 2011 census in the last 10 years.
  • Most of in-migration ( 88.9%) from neighboring countries:
    • Bangladesh: 51.2%
    • Nepal: 15.1%
    • Pakistan: 17.1 %
    • Sri Lanka: 3.7 %

The USA has the highest in-migration. India stands 4th in terms of out-migration after Mexico, China, and Pakistan.

Internal migration:

  • Intra-state migration ( 118.7 million people)
  • Inter-state migration( 23.2 million peopl)

The following are approx data of Intra and inter-state migration.


Rural to Rural

Rural to Urban

Urban to Rural

Urban to Urban

Intra State


















  • Females dominated in intra-state migration.
  • In Interstate migration, females also dominated except rural to urban migration.
  • Male migrate due to economic reason and female migrates due to mostly for marriage except for Meghalaya
  • In The Meghalaya State, male migrates due to marriage purpose.

Spatial variation of interstate migration:

  • Maharashtra ( 1st), Delhi ( 2nd), Gujarat ( 3rd), and Harayana( 4th ) stand in terms of in-migration.
  • Uttar Pradesh ( 1st), Bihar ( 2nd), and Rajasthan ( 3rd) stands in terms of out-migration.

Cause of migration:

There are two broad factors.

  • Push factors
  • Pull factors

Push factors:

Cause people to force to leave the source region.

The following are the main factors:

  • Poverty
  • High population pressure
  • Lack of basic infrastructures such as health and education
  • A natural disaster such as flood, drought, Cyclones, Earthquake, Tsunami
  • War
  • Local conflict

Push factors:

The following are factors.

  • Better opportunity
  • Availability of regular works
  • Higher wage
  • Better opportunities for education, health
  • Entertainment facilities

Try to solve the following questions:

  • Discuss the trends in emigration focusing on its major thrust. ( UPSC 2014)
  • Discuss the spatial pattern of intra-regional migration in India and examine its implications for regional development(UPSC 2011)

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