South Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Spatial Mobility in Delhi-NCR: Migration and Commuting

Friday, July 6
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Maple, Lower Ground Floor

With an average of 2-3 lakh people moving into the region annually, Delhi has always been a magnet for migrants in search of better livelihoods. Yet as policymakers and advocates continue to find solutions to the problems associated with increasing migration and urbanization, the evidence on migration as an impetus for economic prosperity remains mixed. While India is one of the most rapidly urbanizing countries in the world, little attention has been devoted to disaggregating the migration process and understanding what the narrative is in India. This study’s broad goal is to understand the economic impacts of migration in the Delhi-NCR region, characterize spatial differences in migrant settlement and identify where opportunities exist for economic improvement. Using data from a large-scale representative survey of the Delhi-NCR region on 19,096 individuals aged 18 years and above, we analyze differences in migrants’ economic prosperity by examining migration at two different scales, namely at the level of Delhi-NCR and that of localities within Delhi-NCR. At the Delhi-NCR level, we find that length of migration and migrants’ caste are significantly associated with economic prosperity. Locally, we identify nodes where the bulk of day-to-day movement occurs in migrants’ commutes to and from work, using network analysis. Overlaying cluster and network maps with public transport infrastructure, we pinpoint local areas where infrastructure and economic investments can help improve social mobility for migrants in the Delhi-NCR region. 

Neelanjan Sircar

Centre for Policy Research, India

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