May 1987 is a month that will not be forgotten in the South Pacific. The first of two military coups d'etat led by Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka not only transformed the course of post-colonial political development in Fiji, but this event also had profound implications for international relations in the region. Co-incidentally, May 1987 was also the month when detailed results of Fiji's second national population census since Independence in 1970 became available. The 1986 census documents Fiji's population on the eve of a political revolution which has the potential to cause significant economic and social change. The demographic process most likely to be affected in the short-term by the coups is population movement, both within Fiji and to overseas destinations. This: paper examines developments in population movement between 1970 and 1986 with particular reference to an acceleration in levels of migration overseas by Indians and an exodus of Fijians from rural village communities for towns on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Trends in internal and international migration are evaluated at a range of spatial scales — national, regional and local. Some speculation on the effect of political and economic changes since May 1987 on these population movements attempts to provide a contemporary perspective on demographic developments over the last 15 years.