Rural-urban population movement in Fiji 1966-1976: a macro analysis.

Type Journal Article
Title Rural-urban population movement in Fiji 1966-1976: a macro analysis.
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1981
Page numbers 329-354
This paper examines the main features of rural and urban migration in the context of overall internal population mobility in Fiji. For this paper, special tables were prepared from the 1976 census which specify the urban and rural nature of places of origin and destination as well as identifying particular towns where movement is occurring. Thus, it becomes possible to separate rural to rural, rural to urban, urban to urban, and urban to rural movement. Discussion focuses on rural to urban population movement. The primary aim is to establish the national pattern of rural-urban population mobility as well as to provide for the 1st time in published form data on rural to urban population movement in Fiji. Census data on internal migration in Fiji suggest a high level of internal population mobility. For example, in 1976 a total of 27% of all people were enumerated away from their province for birth. The figure for people aged 15 years and older, the population among whom decisions to migrate are made, was just over 1/3. It is difficult to establish statistically the relative importance of the various categories of population movement in Fiji. Rural to urban migration is most likely the most significant of these movements, because it accounts for the largest number of migrants and because rural to urban migration has the most far reaching socioeconomic impact on both source and destination areas. Overall, about half the current urban population so defined are of rural birth. Suva attracted almost 52% of all lifetime rural to urban migrants. Most of the rural to urban migration is intraprovince is intraprovince in the case of provinces with major urban centers. The outer provinces transmit an overwhelming majority of their migrants to Suva. Since independence in 1970, rural to urban migration has accelerated considerably. All urban residents aged 15 years and older in 1976 were questioned about their province of residence in 1970. 49% indicated that they had moved into urban areas from rural residences since that time. The much larger number of Fijians moving into urban from rural areas, observed by Walsh, is confirmed. The most obvious problem of urbanization is the inadequacy of urban housing. The most positive approach to planning for population development is to understand the dynamics of population mobility and to consider it in the planning process, for example, by encouraging the shifting of surplus rural labor, either to regional rural or urban centers or to national urban centers.

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