Short Note: Internal Migration in India

Internal Migration refers to inter-state or inter-district migration within the territories of India. Internal migrants constitute roughly about one third of India’s population. Issue is related to Article 19 which gives the right to all citizens to “to move freely throughout the territory of India; to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India”.  Its advantage is socio-economic mobility but its adverse impacts are larger than advantage.

Various issues:

  • Loss of identity due to inappropriate paperwork, exclusion from social security etc.
  • Root cause of sons-of-the-soil sentiments in various states such as Maharashtra, Delhi for people from different states.
  • Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Odisha and Uttarakhand are the source states while Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka and Punjab are the destination states.
  • Around half of the populations of Surat, Ludhiana, Faridabad and Nashik each are composed of migrants.
  • Migrants are mostly employed in the construction, domestic work, textile, brick-kilns, transportation, mines, quarries, rag-picking and agriculture, many of the jobs involving hazardous, socially demeaning and low-paying work.


Two types – Short term and Long Term internal migration, it is seasonal migration for employment.  Another two types: Voluntary migration and Forced or Distress migration.


  • Marriage, Studies and Jobs are voluntary migrations. Marriage is responsible for 91 percent of rural female migration and 61 percent of urban female migration.
  • Forced or distress migration triggered by extreme paucity of economic opportunities, environmental disparities, socio-political problems etc.

How to handle forced internal migration

  • Proper implementation of PURA
  • Provide proper Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP)
  • Make farming sustainable
  • Implement TRYSEM type programmes effectively.