Studies on migration from Kerala

The importance of remittances in the Kerala economy is well documented. In order to study migration from Kerala, a research project titled ‘Migration from Kerala: Social, Economic and Demographic Consequences’ was undertaken by Mr K C Zachariah, Mr E T Mathew and Mr S Irudaya Rajan of the Centre for Development Studies (CDS). The research, spread over the latter half of ’99 and the early part of 2000, was the first of its kind. Susequently the CDS developed an exclusive research team for Migration Monitoring Studies (MMS) with the support of the Department of Non-Resident Keralite Affairs, Government of Kerala. The team has attempted to construct a time series estimation of remittances from abroad to the Kerala economy for the period 1972 to 2000. It has also brought out several studies that have unearthed socio-economic and demographic consequences of migration in Kerala.

The study finds that by the early nineties remittance to the Kerala economy assumed a significant share of state income. This ranged from 17 per cent during 1991-92 and 24 per cent during 1997- 98 with an average of 22 per cent in the second half of the nineties. It was estimated that in 1998, there were 13.62 lakh. Kerala migrants being abroad. The 2007 CDS survey has estimated the number of Kerala migrants abroad at 18.50 lakhs and the migrants are estimated to sent back Rs.24525 crores in 2006-07 forming about 20 per cent of NSDP of the state.


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