Impact of demographic transition in Kerala on migration and labour force
This chapter summarises the demographic transition in Kerala, the impact of the transition on the migration scenario and labour force of the state and implications of such a scenario for the state’s economy. The rate of growth of Kerala’s native population will turn negative within a decade or so. Both mortality and fertility levels have touched near saturation bottom levels, and migration plays a critical role in shaping the future demographic scenario of the state. While as demographic dividend, the working population has significantly bulged in Kerala, unemployment is acute given the high levels of educational attainment and limited employment opportunities within. Known as a remittance economy, migration has been a major factor reducing unemployment within the state. Both international migration and migration to the other states from Kerala have registered downward trends. At the same time, in the labour force, there is an acute shortage of workers to take up the low-skilled, low-valued jobs. As a result, the state has also evolved as a major destination for labourers from other states. The changes in the migration scenario in the state due to demographic transition call for better migration management strategies so that a potential catastrophic impact on the state’s economy can be averted.