Nearly two out of five Indians--some 454 million in all--are migrants, having left their place of residence and settled down somewhere else, according to Census 2011 data on migration released. This means that between 2001 and 2011, 139 million Indians migrated internally .
The vast majority of migrants, 69%, are women moving out of their parental homes to stay with their husbands in his native home, or perhaps migrate with him elsewhere.
Half of this massive movement of humanity is taking place within rural areas--rural-to-rural migration. Rural-to-urban migration makes up about 18% of all migrants while urban-to-urban migration is another 17%.
In 2001, the share of rural-to-urban migrants was about 17%, indicating that there has not been a big shift in the percentage of people moving from villages to cities during the 2001-2011 decade over the 1991-2001 decade.
This complements the earlier data given by the census that urban growth rate is not too high and has, in fact, showed signs of slackening in many cities across the country. Among the reasons for migration, only about 10% of people moved in search of employment during the decade ending 2011, down from 15% in 2001.
This is counterintuitive, considering the popular belief that migration is primarily driven by work. The share of those moving to pursue education makes up only 2% of migrants, down from 3% recorded in the 2001 census. Marriage remains the biggest cause for migration, accounting for 49%, up from 44% in 2001.The census questionnaire includes a reason designated as “moved after birth“, which is mainly children being born in a place--the mothers' village or a nearby town with hospital--and then moving back home to the parental house. This share has increased from 7% in 2001 to 11% in 2011.
More than a fifth of all migrants had said in 2001 that the reason for migrating was that their family was moving. They would be dependents, both young and old. This share has declined to 15% in 2011.