Migration from Kerala growing steadily, shows study

Thiruvananthapuram : There has been a slow but a steady migration from Kerala, and remittances from migrants form more than 60 per cent of the state’s revenue, reveals a study.

Done at the Centre for Development Studies here, this is fifth in the series of comprehensive studies on international and internal migration from Kerala since 1998.

According to the study, the number of Kerala migrants living abroad in 2011 was estimated at 2.28 million, up from 2.19 million in 2008, 1.84 million in 2003 and 1.36 million in 1998.

The report said the total remittances in Kerala in 2011 were worth about Rs.49,695 crore compared to Rs.43,288 crore in 2008.

The proportion of Hindus among the non-resident Keralites also has shot up — it was 37.5 per cent in 2011, but only 29.9 per cent in 1998.

However, the vast majority of the migrants from Kerala in 2011 were Muslims (about 45 per cent), although the community’s share in the total population of the state was only about 26 per cent.

On the other hand, though the Hindus formed about 56 per cent migrants of the total population, their share among migrants was only 37.5 percent.

The 2011 study is based on primary data collected from 15,000 households selected through random sampling covering all the 63 taluks or sub-districts in the state.

According to the study, conducted by researchers K.C. Zachariah and S. Irudayarajan, the main countries of destination for Kerala migrants have remained more or less unchanged over these years – 90 per cent of the state’s migrants going to the Gulf countries.

Nearly 40 per cent of Kerala’s migrants live in the UAE and 25 per cent in Saudi Arabia.

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