Tamil Migrants: A Demographic, Social and Economic Analysis
S. Irudaya Rajan, Bernard D’Sami, Samuel Asir Raj, and P. Sivakumar
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

Tamil Nadu has, throughout history, received large numbers of in-migrants, many of whom subsequently became part of Tamil society. Equally, the Tamil region has had a long tradition of out-migration, including international migration as indentured labour on colonial plantations. However, unlike its neighbouring state of Kerala, there is a dearth of comprehensive studies, as well as reliable databases, on migration from Tamil Nadu.

The Tamil Nadu Migration Survey 2015 provided significant insights for the first time into the state’s migration flows based on 20,000 households. In the first study of its kind, Tamil Migrants highlights the survey data and provides new data on internal and international migration from Tamil Nadu by combining analyses of demographic, social and economic factors.

The themes explored in the book are diverse, ranging from the demography of Tamil Nadu, its migration history, current migration patterns and their implications, to internal and international migration.

The chapters discuss all aspects of migration in Tamil Nadu­­­, including types of migration, cost of financing and remittances, the crucial impact of migration on employment, human development, and the elderly, and an analysis of the experiences of return migrants, their families and the community.

Through interpretations of Census and large-scale survey data, the authors also put forward recommendations on inter-state migration policies and development outcomes.

S. Irudaya Rajan is Chairman, International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMAD), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Bernard D'Sami is Senior Fellow, Loyola Institute of Social Science Training and Research (LISSTAR), Loyola College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Samuel Asir Raj is Professor and Head, Department of Sociology, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu.

P. Sivakumar is Head, Centre for Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Analysis, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

List of Tables and Figures
List of Abbreviations
Publisher’s Acknowledgements

  1. Setting the Context
  2. The Demography of Tamil Nadu
  3. Emigration from Tamil Nadu: A Historical View
  4. Internal Migration in Tamil Nadu: A Census-based Analysis
  5. Immigration to Tamil Nadu: A Census-based Analysis
  6. The Tamil Nadu Migration Survey (TMS), 2015
  7. Dimensions of International Migration
  8. Internal Migration from Tamil Nadu
  9. Remittances
  10. Causes, Costs and Financing of Migration
  11. Migration and Employment
  12. Migration and Human Development
  13. Experiences of Return Emigrants (REM)
  14. Gender Dimensions of Emigration and Women Left Behind (WLB)
  15. The Impact of Migration on the Elderly
  16. The Tamil Nadu Migration Survey (TMS) 2015 and Kerala Migration Survey (KMS) 2014: A Comparative Analysis
  17. Summary and Conclusions


1. Undocumented stories | Published in The Hindu, Chennai, 03 February 2022.
2. Review has been Published in The Hindu, Chennai, 02 January 2022.
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