Paragraph on the Migration!
Migration is a form of spatial mobility of population between one geographical unit and another involving a permanent change of residence (UN: 1958).
The Census of India determines the migration by place of birth or residence. If a person was born at a place other than the place of enumeration, then he is treated as a migrant.
Of the three components of population change, migration holds a place of prominence — the other two components being fertility and mortality. Migration cannot be considered as a mere shift of people from one place of residence to another, as it is most fundamental to the understanding of continuously changing space-content and space-relationships of area (Gosal, 1961).
Gill (1981) is of the opinion that movement over territories is a characteristic feature of all human populations irrespective of their stage of development. Bogue (1959) considers it an instrument of cultural diffusion and social integration, which yields more meaningful redistribution of population.
Smith (1960) has talked about three-fold impact of migration on (i) the area of out-migration (ii) the area of in-migration and (iii) the migrants themselves. He has rightly remarked that areas of outmigration, in-migration and the migrants themselves never remain the same.
The studies regarding migration are seriously hampered due to lack of methodology and data constraints. Most scholars who write about migration theories and models recognise the very imperfect state of present-day theoretical and empirical knowledge of migration phenomenon (Germany, 1964).
There is considerable agreement, that the study of migration has been hampered by the grave deficiencies in migration theories, which tend to be time bound, culture bound and description bound (Manglam and Schwarzweller: 1968). To some extent, this situation may be attributed to the greater complexity of migration as compared with the other two components of population change—mortality and fertility. According to Jones (1981), “Of the three components of population change, migration is the most difficult to conceptualize and measure”.
Because, it involves a change from the place of origin to the place of destination, migration has both a separative and an additive effect and both aspects are relevant to an understanding of why people move. The data constraints are no less pronounced than the lack of methodology.
The census of India does not provide any direct data on migration. It is only with the help of place of birth data that some idea of magnitude and direction of patterns of migration can be obtained. Although, post-independence censuses have tried to improve the quality and quantity of migration data, yet the census data are far from satisfactory for a reasonable analysis of migration. Census data of 2001 on migration has yet not been published and we have to content ourselves with 1991 census data only.
Migration may be broadly classified as international and internal. India has experienced both, though at a much lesser scale as compared to other countries of the world.