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Spatial distribution, internal migration and development in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Author: Rodríguez Vignoli, Jorge UN symbol.: LC/G.2396-P grafs., maps., tabls. December 2008


An examination of the links between migration and developmentusing census micro data for 15 Latin American countries reveals that: (i);internal migration is diminishing, which was not foreseen in the specialistliterature, (ii); internal migration, while apparently helpful for individuals andbeneficial for successful regions, erodes the human resources of poorerregions, and (iii); as a result of increasing urbanization, urban-urban migrationis replacing rural to urban migration as the predominant flow and other typesof migration are on the increase, an example being intrametropolitan migrationwhich, unlike the traditional kind, is driven by residential and not occupationalfactors. Where policy is concerned, the governing principle is freedom ofmovement within a country's borders, without restrictions or resettlements.Governments have to resort to incentives and indirect measures if they wishto influence migration decisions; however, local measures and regulationsdo influence intrametropolitan migration choices.