Ranchi (Jharkhand) : The economic survey of India has revealed that Jharkhand lost close to 5 million of its working age population between 2001 and 2011 due to migration. More than 5% of the working age population migrates annually to other states in search of better employment opportunities, education or because of loss of traditional livelihood.
The net outflow of the working age population is the highest among states in the country.
West Bengal serves as a home to the highest number of migrants. West Bengal has a developed industrial sector and a sprawling metropolitan capital. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been identified as states with the second and third highest inflow of migrants from Jharkhand respectively, in the survey.
A high net migration, greater than 15%, was observed in the districts of Dhanbad, Lohardaga and Gumla. More than 90,000 people travel from Dhanbad to Howrah each year, which has been identified as the top route for migration in eastern India.
An important development the survey has thrown up is the rise in female migration in the decade 2001-11 across the country. The female migration has almost doubled since the last study was conducted in 1991-2001 and is now almost the same as that of the male migrants.
The reason, the economic survey cites, for this is that both men and women from impoverished families travel to other places for employment opportunities leaving behind their children and older members of the family. The same pattern has been observed in Jharkhand.
However, a survey conducted by the state’s skill development department in 2011 showed that 80% of the respondents had not observed any improvement in their economic condition since their family members had migrated. Thousands of distressed migrants had returned to their villages empty handed post demonetization in November last year.
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