Private foreign remittances have drastically cut down poverty level in Kerala to 12.70 per cent in 2000 from 52.22 per cent in 1977, taking the per capita consumption in the state to one of the highest in the country.
"Kerala has registered one of the most dramatic falls in the incidence of poverty during 1977 to 2000. The earnings from abroad enabled the households to improve their economic status," SAARC Regional Poverty Profile 2005 said.
The improvement in economic status of the households has been closely associated with the duration of stay of migrant workers outside the state.
Households, which showed an improvement in economic status, typically, had a migrant worker outside the country for about 10 years, the report said.
These earnings also enabled them to purchase land improving their asset-base and enhancing income potential, it said.
Significantly, remittances led to improvement in consumption expenditure and health indicators continued even during the period of sluggish economic growth.
However, migration has created many social problems like desertion and violence against women, besides emergence of stress-related diseases.
"These negatives need to be managed through efforts of civil society," the SAARC report said.