18-05-2018
International emigrants from Kerala declined to 2.2 million in 2016

newsimageSimultaneously, migration to other states declined from 1.1 million in 2003 to 0.9 million in 2008 and further declined to 0.65 million in 2016, as per a Kerala Migration Survey. Giving a twist to the demographic transition, the number of international emigrants from Kerala - which peaked during 2013 with 2.4 million people living abroad - declined to 2.2 million in 2016. Simultaneously, migration to other states declined from 1.1 million in 2003 to 0.9 million in 2008 and further declined to 0.65 million in 2016, as per a Kerala Migration Survey. The statistics underscore the state’s future of human development is dependent on how fast inward migration catches up with the current level of development. On the domestic inward migration front, around 2.5 million migrant workers from other states were estimated to be present in Kerala in 2013. However, as per the growth patterns indicated by the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation, 3.5 to 4 million workers from other states were estimated in 2017, although economic stagnation during 2017-18 affected the flow of migrants. This is likely to grow once the current industrial stagnation is over. The state cannot go forward when there is a serious demographic transition and the state should be better equipped to face the challenges ahead. A dip in the number of people belonging to the age-group which migrates and the return of Kerala emigrants due to the instability in West Asia are likely to result in a reduction of remittances, adversely affecting the economy which to a large extent is dependent on the emigrant workforce. And it is likely the African region may emerge as a prominent destination as migrant workers from other states fill in an important vacuum and play an indispensable role in the current labour market in Kerala.S Irudaya Rajan, a senior demographer and researcher with CDS, said the policy brief was submitted to the state government and it is up to the government to come up with a solution to solve the emerging crisis.