Migrants may not be taking away jobs, after all

Tina Edwin New Delhi | Updated on July 28, 2019

Nearly 40 per cent of Delhi’s 2011 population comprised individuals born outside the city, proving that the Capital is a migrant magnet.

In comparison, less than 10 per cent of the people in Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata were born outside the respective States. Mumbai’s share of the migrant population was less than 30 per cent, Bengaluru’s just a little over 17 per cent and Pune’s just over 10 per cent, show 2011 Census data, released recently.

In the National Capital Region (NCR), Gurugram, often described as the Millennium City with its glitzy office buildings and high-rise apartments, rivals Delhi in its share of people born outside Haryana at about 36 per cent. In contrast, in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar district, where NCR’s Noida and Greater Noida are located, just about 18 per cent of the population was born outside Uttar Pradesh.




No job erosion

Much of the migration to the big cities is intra-State rather than inter-State, partly belying the claims of many politicians that migrants from other States are taking away jobs.

The 2011 Census data also show that inter-State migration to the big cities often tends to be intra-regional, mostly driven by migrants’ desire to be close to home.

For instance, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad have a greater proportion of migrants from the South than from the North. Likewise, a significant share of Kolkata’s migrant population is from Bihar and Jharkhand.

In Bengaluru, India’s IT and start-up hub, 17.3 per cent of the population was born outside Karnataka. Of this, about two-third came from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Similarly, about 7.2 per cent of Chennai’s population was born outside Tamil Nadu, of which two-third came from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.

Of the 4.7 per cent of Hyderabad’s population born outside (undivided) Andhra Pradesh, over half came from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

Sizeable presence

However, there are some exceptions. Large outflows from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan to big cities have led to a sizeable presence of people from these three States in almost all the major cities.

They account for about 26 per cent of Delhi’s population, 19 per cent of Gurugram’s population and 15 per cent of Mumbai’s population. Migrants from these States have a significant presence in Pune and Bengaluru as well.

Published on July 28, 2019

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