THE BIG MARCH: MIGRATORY FLOWS AFTER THE PARTITION OF INDIA by Prashant Bharadwaj, Asim Khwaja and Atif Mian
ABSTRACT. The partition of India along religious grounds in 1947 into India, Pakistan and what eventually became Bangladesh, resulted in one of the largest and most rapid migrations in human history. We compile district level census data from archives to quantify the scale of migratory flows across the sub-continent. We estimate total migratory inflows of 14.49 million and outflows of 16.7 million, leading to 2.2 million "missing" people. We also uncover substantial degree of regional variability. Flows were much larger along the Western border, higher in cities and areas close to the border, and dependent heavily on the size of minority religious group. There is almost a one for one "replacement effect" of in-moving populations replacing out-moving population from a district.