Drawing on data from population censuses and recent household surveys for India and Ghana, this paper demonstrates the importance of internal migration in comparison to international migration, showing that internal migrants outnumber international migrants by an order of magnitude in both countries. It examines patterns of internal migration and the underlying reasons for migration, noting that people move from relatively poor areas to richer ones. While it is difficult to establish causality, complementary evidence suggests that these moves may allow poor people to access better opportunities in richer regions. The paper then looks more carefully at the association between migration and poverty at the district and state level and to some degree at the household level, which is followed by an examination of internal remittances and their association with poverty. A key finding of this paper is the importance of internal remittances, which in both countries appear to be greater in magnitude than international remittances. In addition, internal remittances appear to be particularly important in relation to international remittances in the poorest regions of Ghana and in the poorest states of India.
Castaldo, A.; Priya Deshingkar; McKay, A. Internal Migration Remittances and Poverty. Migrating out of Poverty RPC Working Paper 7. Sussex Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK (2012) 44 pp.