Out-migration from the Hill Region of Uttarakhand: Magnitude, Challenges, and Policy Options

  • Rajendra P. Mamgain
  • D. Narasimha Reddy


Rural-to-urban migration is one of the important dimensions of structural transformation, but the patterns of migration show wide variations across the country in India. This chapter on rural-to-urban migration in Uttarakhand based on a household survey across eighteen villages shows migration as a widespread phenomenon among rural households. Much of the migration (73%) is for long duration. A disturbing phenomenon is permanent migration—36% of households left the surveyed villages permanently during the past ten years and most of them were from upper caste households. Hardly anyone migrates from the state for manual work, and most of the migration is for regular salaried work, although much of it is low-paid petty jobs. The remittances are used mostly for consumption, including education and health needs, which could hardly create multiplier effect in the villages. The main reasons for migration are low productive agriculture and educated unemployment who are unwilling to work as manual wage labour. It depicts the hardships of village life in general and women in particular in the Hill Region of Uttarakhand in the wake of increasing out-migration. The chapter critically examines the policy paradigm of development and its failures to create remunerative employment opportunities in the Hill Region and resultant out-migration for creating present demographic vacuum in the region. It offers measures useful to policy and action to promote employment opportunities and quality of living in the Hill Region of Uttarakhand.



This chapter is largely based on a pilot study on “Outmigration in Uttarakhand”, sponsored by the S.R. Sankaran Chair (Rural Labor), National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), Hyderabad. The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the NIRD&PR. The authors are grateful to Kunal Sen, T. S. Papola, Kailash Sarap, K.P. Kannan, Chandrasekhar, and other participants of the International Seminar on International Conference on Labor and Employment Issues in the Context of Emerging Rural-Urban Continuum: Dimensions, Processes and Policies, organized by the S.R. Sankaran Chair (Rural Studies), NIRD&PR, Hyderabad, March 12–14, 2015.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajendra P. Mamgain
    • 1
  • D. Narasimha Reddy
    • 2
  1. 1.Giri Institute of Development StudiesLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Formerly of University of HyderabadHyderabadIndia

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