After recording a steady increase in emigration from Kerala in the last 15 years, the emigration from the state has shown a fall of 11.6 per cent in the last five years, according to a survey conducted by the Centre for Development Studies (CDS).
Released on Monday, the Kerala Migration Survey (KMS) 2018, was the eighth in the series of studies on emigration from the state by the CDS since 1998.
The study stated that there are 2.1 million emigrants from Kerala across the world, of which 15.8 per cent are women. It found there has been a reduction of 3 lakh emigrants in 2013-18, which is one-tenth of the number of emigrants in 2013.
Prof S Irudaya Rajan of CDS, who headed the survey team, said the dip in emigration from Kerala can be due to the fact that demographic advances have decreased population in the migration-prone age group (15-29 years) as Kerala attained replacement level of fertility as early as 1987.
Other factors, according to the survey, are that wages in Gulf countries have not improved after the global economic crisis. This has led to lower savings. In cintrast, wages in Kerala have increased compared to other states.
Rajan said that the price of oil, on which the Gulf economy depends, has been declining since 2010. “Although the last one year has seen a slight increase in oil price, the growth of the Gulf economy has suffered a major setback. Besides, nationalisation policies such as Nitaqat and recently introduced family taxes in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies are not conducive for migrants,’’ Rajan said.
The study found that one in every fifth household in Kerala has an emigrant living abroad. Among religious groups, one in every third household is Muslim, one out five households are Christian and one in every tenth household is Hindu.
The CDS was established by the Kerala government in 1971 and was founded by renowned economist Professor K N Raj.