New Economic and Climatic Context and Changing Migration Patterns in India

The New Economic and Climatic Context and Changing Migration Patterns in India, South Asia Network of Economic Institutes, 2009-10 A study was undertaken to explore new internal migration triggers/trends in India - urban economic growth, inflation from the rise in oil and food prices, the changing climate condition and their slowing impact on farming, and increase in natural disasters. The purpose was to identify the multiple factors in the current context that are contributing to migration and the migrant families capabilities to move out of poverty with recommendations for urban planning, policy and practice. 2000 migrants in New Delhi, Bangalore, and satellite towns of Faridabad and Dodballapur were interviewed for the study. Migrants were seen to form two types of groups - aspirational migrants that were skilled and came to cities after much planning and disaster migrants that were shocked into migration. These were usually unskilled people, without savings or preplanning. For both groups, incomes rose soon after and significantly on migration and continued to rise with the duration of their stay even as new employment was private/contractual. Aspiration and inflationary migration was from among the better off and tended to be more permanent, whereas disaster-linked migration was unexpected with high asset loss, survivalistic, temporary and reversible and cut across socio-economic categories.

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