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Explained: ‘Temporary visitors’ and ‘migrants’ — how they moved during the pandemic

Females recorded a higher share of migration rate of 47.9 per cent, with 48 per cent in rural areas and 47.8 per cent in urban areas. The migration rate for males was seen at 10.7 per cent

Written by Aanchal Magazine | New Delhi |
Updated: June 15, 2022 8:23:31 pm
The all-India migration rate was 28.9 per cent for July 2020-June 2021, with 26.5 per cent migration rate in rural areas and 34.9 per cent in urban areas.

After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, 0.7 per cent of the country’s population was recorded as a ‘temporary visitor’ across households during the July 2020-June 2021 period, a report named ‘Migration in India 2020-21’, released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Tuesday showed.

Who are ‘temporary visitors’ and how do they differ from ‘migrants’?

The ‘Migration in India’ report, which is based on first-time collection of additional data during the annual round of Periodic Labour Force Survey for July 2020-June 2021, separates the categories of ‘temporary visitors’ and ‘migrants’.

While ‘temporary visitors’ have been defined as the ones who arrived in households after March 2020 and stayed continuously for a period of 15 days or more but less than 6 months, ‘migrants’ have been defined as those, for whom the last usual place of residence, any time in the past, is different from the present place of enumeration.

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Why did people move after March 2020?

Over 84 per cent of these 0.7 per cent ‘temporary visitors’ moved places for reasons linked to the pandemic ranging from loss of job/closure of unit/lack of employment opportunities, migration of earning member, closure of educational institutions and health related reasons, and meeting family/relatives/friends, it showed.

A total of 48.9 per cent of the temporary visitors moved to meet family/relatives/friends between July 2020 to June 2021, while 15.7 per cent of such temporary visitors moved for health related reasons and 12.2 per cent moved due to loss of job/closure of unit/lack of employment opportunities, the findings of the report showed.

“That 0.7 per cent is male, female combined at all-India level and that percentage is in reference to the country’s population. 0.7 per cent of the country’s population moved during July 2020-June 2021 as temporary visitors in the households. If the absolute number has to be estimated, it has to be multiplied with the country’s population. The survey block was introduced in July 2020 and the period of survey for asking this information was July 2020-June 2021. The temporary visits were due to a variety of reasons as enlisted in the survey,” a senior official from the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) said.

Taking the country’s total population to be 121.08 crore (Census 2011), 0.7 per cent would imply to be about 85 lakh ‘temporary visitors’ in the households.

What was the all-India migration rate during this period?

The all-India migration rate was 28.9 per cent for July 2020-June 2021, with 26.5 per cent migration rate in rural areas and 34.9 per cent in urban areas.

Who migrated more – males or females?

Females recorded a higher share of migration rate of 47.9 per cent, with 48 per cent in rural areas and 47.8 per cent in urban areas. The migration rate for males was seen at 10.7 per cent, with 5.9 per cent in rural areas and 22.5 per cent in urban areas.

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Among females, the highest level of migration rate was seen at 86.8 per cent for marriage, while 49.6 per cent of the males migrated in search of employment, to take up better employment/business/proximity to place of work, or loss of job/closure of unit/lack of employment opportunities.

During July-June 2020-21, 9.2 per cent persons migrated due to migration of parent/earning member of the family, with 17.5 per cent males and 7.3 per cent females migrating for this reason.

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