According to a 2006 report by Rediff news, half the population of Bihar; the second most populous state in India with 8.3 crore people live below the poverty line. Therefore many leave Bihar to find jobs elsewhere even braving hostility as in Assam and Maharashtra. A sort of a tradition in the cabinet is to have a railway minister from Bihar, have successively made sure that trains carrying Bihari migrants coming back to Bihar for “Chatt” and “Dewali” run smoothly. It is thought that 50 lack laborers from Bihar work outside India in the construction industry as there are little economic opportunity in Bihar.
Middle class Biharis are one of the most educated societies in India. Almost every year highest number of IITians (prestigious universities) are Biharis. Many middle families after primary educating their children send them outside Bihar either providing donations to several medical and engineering schools. Many come to the United States or United Kingdom to complete Business Management courses
on student visas
in the numerous universities that are there. Many return back to India after completing their courses specially the well to do ones. Some stay behind in the European Union, Canada, Australia, USA for at least 2 years as they are given work permits and work as much as they can to earn those highly priced pounds and dollars. Many are lucky to stay behind for as much as 5 years as they are given work permits. Many are even luckier to get permanent residency.
There are numerous Biharis that have emigrated to the USA and Europe. Many Bihari Doctors are to be found especially in the UK and USA who have even formed several Bihar associations.
There are a few Bihari online groups for Bihari professionals taking part in discussions and actually contributing for the state. Friends of Bihar in an online Bihar news forum have signed up from almost every state of the USA from Alabama to Wisconsin suggesting that Biharis contribute heavily in bringing back foreign currency.
Several Punjabi migrants especially from the New Zealand, USA and UK have returned to set up business as these parts have developed significantly. It’s far too early to say if there are any returning Biharis back to Bihar.