To read this content please select one of the options below:

Mobility and morbidity of regular and seasonal migrants in India

Mala Ray Bhattacharjee (Raja Peary Mohan College, University of Calcutta, Uttarpara, India)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Article publication date: 1 March 2021

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021




Internal migration has grown intensively in India in the present decades, far greater than international migration, though the latter has received far more attention in literature and public policy. Among internal migrants, seasonal movement is another growing phenomenon in India which has received the least attention till now. The purpose of the study is to show the intensities of short-term morbidity and major morbidity among the rural and urban internal migrants and how such disease burdens have affected the health of regular/permanent and temporary/seasonal migrants.


This present paper has been developed on the basis of data of India Human Development Survey-II (IHDS-II), 2011–2012, has been availed to find out the intensities of short-term morbidity and major morbidity among the rural and urban migrants as well as the health condition of the seasonal migrants. For the analysis of regular or permanent migrants, a total of 3,288 migrants (of which 1,136 rural migrants and 2,152 urban migrants) were surveyed in IHDS-II, 2011–2012, regarding the persistence of different types of short-term morbidity among the migrant class. Two-sample (rural migrants and urban migrants) “t” test for mean difference with unequal variances with null hypothesis – H0: diff = 0, and alternate hypothesis – Ha: diff < 0; Ha: diff > 0 where diff = mean (rural) – mean (urban) has been executed. For the seasonal migrants a sample of 41,424 migrants of which 2,691 seasonal migrant workers and 38,733 non-seasonal migrant workers were surveyed in IHDS-II, 2011–2012, to find out their health condition. OLS regression on the number of medical treatments undertaken in a month on the nature of migrant workers has been conducted. Socio-economic factors (like adult literacy) and basic amenities required for a healthy living (like indoor piped drinking water, separate kitchen in the household, household having a flush toilet, household having electricity and intake of meals everyday) are taken as control variables in the regression analysis.


The results of morbidity analysis in this paper show that the morbidity patterns among the migrants vary with the geographical differences. The short-term morbidity and that of the major morbidity show different proneness to ill health for rural and urban migrants. However, seasonal migrants are more susceptible to ill health than the regular migrants and are also potential for generating health risks. Also lack of provision of basic services creates negative health impact on seasonal migrants.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on secondary data and hence lacks numerous relevant health issues of migrants in rural and urban sectors which could have been possible through primary data survey.

Practical implications

Migration and migrants are a relevant issue both internationally and nationally. Economic development of a country like India depends to a greater extent on the contributions of migrant labourers as majority of the labourers in India belong to informal sector of which most of the workers are from migrant class.

Social implications

Migrants contribution to economic development depend on their productive capacity and hence health of these section of people is a relevant issue. This study is based on the morbidity pattern of migrants both regular and seasonal migrants and their susceptibility in various geographical locations and provision of basic amenities.


This work is original research study by the author.



Funding source: no funding has been received by the author for carrying this study.Disclosure statement: no potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.


Bhattacharjee, M.R. (2021), "Mobility and morbidity of regular and seasonal migrants in India", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 155-165.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2121, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles