Students' migration in India

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Numbers, trends


Rema Nagarajan, July 21, 2019: The Times of India

Students migrating for education, 2001-11/ The states with the highest migration
From: Rema Nagarajan, July 21, 2019: The Times of India
Students migrating for education, 2001-11/ The states with the lowest migration
From: Rema Nagarajan, July 21, 2019: The Times of India

Many more girls are moving out of their states in search of education than in the past and the pace at which this is changing is most rapid in the states generally viewed as backward. This heartening trend emerges from just-released census 2011 data.

While the number of boys migrating across states for education in the nine years preceding the census grew by 13% compared to the nine years before the 2001 census, the jump for girls was four times higher at 52%.

As a result, girls went from being over a third the number of boys who migrated out of their state for education in 1992-2001 to almost half the number of boys by the 2011 census, which recorded a total of 5.4 million migrating for education within India. This change in the gender skew was highest in states such as Bihar, Odisha, MP, Rajasthan and UP. Though not as dramatic an increase as that for education, women migrating for work or employment increased by 31% compared to just 10% for men. However, their share in the total number of people migrating for work, over six million, was just 12% in 2011, a marginal increase from 10% in 2001.

In Delhi, the number of girls doing so increased by more than one and a half times from less than 9,000 to almost 23,000. Big states, which saw a similar, though not as dramatic, a jump were West Bengal, UP and Haryana. In Bihar, Odisha and MP, the number of girls migrating out of the state for education almost doubled in 2011 over the 2001 numbers.

Girls migrating for edu: Bihar worst-off

In Rajasthan, it jumped by 82% and in Uttar Pradesh by 78%. In both censuses, Kerala was the only state which saw more girls than boys migrating for education, with the skew increasing in 2011.

Among larger states, in Punjab and Tamil Nadu girls were over 82% and 74% of the number of boys leaving for education in other states. Bihar was at the bottom, where girls were just 23% of the number of boys leaving for studies. In Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, too, this proportion was low, about 36% and 39%, respectively.

Women’s share in those migrating for work was the lowest in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, just over 7% in 2011. The highest share was in Chhattisgarh, with women constituting 29%, followed by Kerala with 25% and Karnataka with 20%.

See also

Indian students in international universities

International students in Indian universities

Student cities, educational hubs: India

Students’ migration within India

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