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Internal Migration and Social Safety Nets in India

Mar 2015
Policy Brief
By  Melanie Morten
Internal migration is a significant phenomenon. The UN estimates that one-eighth of all people in the world migrate within their countries of birth, a rate more than four times that of international migration (UNDP 2009). Developing countries are no exception. In China, each Chinese New Year more than 200 million migrant workers return back to their villages to spend time with their families, an annual mass migration clogging roads and rail. In India, migration, often short-term, is common, with laborers migrating away from villages towards cities to work in factories and other industries. What do increasing rates of mobility mean for poor rural households in developing countries?