Delhi: Migration to

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Historical trends

2001-2017: Delhi becomes the migrant capital of India

March 23, 2018: The Times of India

The migrant population in Delhi, 2001-2017
From: March 23, 2018: The Times of India
Delhi's population- density and per capita income
From: March 23, 2018: The Times of India

The population of Delhi grew by nearly 1,000 a day in 2016, out of which over 300 were migrants who came to the city to settle down. The share of migrants in the capital’s population growth reached 33% in 2016 — highest in 15 years. New Delhi’s booming services economy and its highest per capita income among states makes it the number 1 destination for migrants from all parts of the country.

Areas from which migrants come to Delhi

UP, Bihar


Most migrants in city still from UP, but Bihar’s share rising fast


The Times of India 2013/09/01

Migrants in Delhi.jpg

New Delhi: Delhi has always been a melting pot — people from across the country come here to study or to work. But in the past decade there appears to have been a change in the composition of its population. Uttar Pradesh continues to be the state from which the largest share of migrants come to Delhi—about 47%, up from about 43% in 2001. But the biggest change is from Bihar—migrants from this state have shot up from 14% in 2001 to nearly 31% in 2013.

The data for 2013 is from a Perceptions Survey of 8,029 persons conducted by the Institute for Human Development for the Delhi government as part of Delhi’s Human Development Report 2013 (DHDR). Although not strictly comparable with the headcount of a census, it does give an indication of the changing face of Delhi. People who came to Delhi up to 20 years ago were considered migrants for the survey.

The bulk of migrants still give employment related factors for coming all the way to the national capital, according to the survey. But there is an increasing proportion that gives ‘education and training’ as the reason. Among those who migrated to Delhi a decade ago, about three quarters said they came looking for jobs or better salaries, while only 18% came for education. But among those who came to Delhi within the last one year, 40% said they were studying while 57% came for job related reasons, the DHDR said.

Delhi has emerged as a hub for the services sector and its earlier base of industry has eroded, according to the DHDR. Over 85% of Delhi’s gross state domestic product arises from the services sector while industry contributes just 14%. Accordingly, the nature of employment available in the city has also changed.

However, the growth of the services sector has also brought with it a growth of highly vulnerable, low-paid and informal jobs. Among the top 10 jobs in Delhi, in terms of number of persons employed, most are of this kind—shop workers, construction workers, transport workers (including rickshaw drivers), maids, cooks, security personnel, repair mechanics, street vendors, clerks, delivery persons etc. This is the army of service providers that sustains the city—they make up about 86% of workers in the city.

On average, a male informal worker gets Rs 6,175 compared to Rs 18,082 for a formal worker. A female informal worker gets just Rs 3,886 compared to Rs 17,295 for the formal counterpart, the report said, quoting a 2010 survey. This workforce is highly skewed towards male workers. Only about 11% of women are working while 55% men have jobs.

Bulandshahr roads lead to Delhi

The Times of India

Dipak Kumar Dash | TNN

New Delhi: Among 1.6 lakh migrants who make their way to Delhi every year, Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh sends the maximum number, followed by Aligarh. A districtwise report shows that as many as six UP districts are among the top ten in terms of migration, which includes Bihar’s Darbhanga and Madhubani.

While UP being the largest contributor of migrants and Bihar fast catching up is well known, a listing of the top 100 districts whose residents make it to the capital makes for an interesting read. Meerut is ranked third while Ghaziabad is at six, followed by Etah and Azamgarh. Then, there is Chatra in Jharkhand and Patna.

These 100 districts contribute to about 75% of the total migration to Delhi and NCR.

The list, put out by the NCR planning board (NCRPB), indicates that distance is not a deciding factor — the migration map stretches from nextdoor western UP to Azamgarh in the eastern part of the state. Experts point out that distance notwithstanding, economic factors and family migration are powerful drivers. Rajasthan and Haryana are dropping down the list, perhaps, due to improving economic conditions.

However, among the top 20 districts, 11 are within 300km from Delhi. That districts such as Panipat, Rewari, Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida), Gurgaon, Faridabad and Alwar rank lower in this ladder also indicates how augmentation of physical and social infrastructure besides economic development in these regions have contributed to absorb the employable workforce.

Pattern of migration

Family migration has pushed up city’s population/ 2001

New Delhi: While UP is the largest contributor of migrants to Delhi, Bihar is fast catching up. The NCRPB study, citing 2001 Census figures, has concluded that UP and Bihar put together have the highest share of migrants — 64.25%. Interestingly, while there was sharp decline of migrants from Haryana — from 11.51% during 1981-91 to 7.87% during 1991-2001 — the count has increased significantly in case of Bihar. The comparative data shows migration from Bihar shot up from 10.69% during 1981-1991 to 19.09% in the next decade.

‘‘We have no planning for the development of smaller districts. The situation has worsened everywhere, including in areas close to Delhi such as Khurja and Bulandshahr,’’ says urban town planner H R Suri. ‘‘In the name of decongesting Delhi, if we allow crowding of the areas bordering the capital, there will be no relief. We are inviting a bigger problem,’’ says the former president of Institute of Town Planners of India. Bengal figures on the list too, with districts such as Kolkata, Medinipur, Malda, North 24-Paraganas, Cooch Behar and Uttar Dinajpur indicating paucity of jobs.

While popular opinion is that job opportunities in Delhi-NCR have pushed up migrant population in the past, the report reveals that in the past decades, family migration has contributed to the trend more. ‘Moving with household’ was the second major reason for migration to this economically prosperous region. ‘‘Earlier, the earning member used to live in Delhi and there was a trend that they would send money to their families in villages. But now, that has changed. A few months after getting jobs, they are bringing their families,’’ said urban transport planner Prof N Ranganathan. The study shows the sex ratio of migrants is 785 females per 1,000 males.

It also shows that development of five counter-magnet areas — Hissar, Bareilly, Patiala, Kota and Gwalior — have been partially successful in absorbing the migration from those regions to NCR. Now it has included three more cities in this list — Ambala in Haryana, Kanpur in UP and Dehra dun in Uttarakhand.

See also

National Capital Region (India): Demographic Profile and Settlement Pattern

Delhi: Migration to

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