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Internal Migration in Tonga, 2001 - 2011: A review of Migrant Flows and Characteristics

This thesis examines Tonga’s internal migration between 2001 and 2011. Firstly, it provides an analysis of Tonga’s internal migration during that period and secondly it establishes whether the ‘drift south’ of Tonga’s population that was found in the 1970s is still the dominant flow. The Tonga Censuses of Population and Housing in 2006 and 2011 are the sources of data for the study. The analysis is presented in two parts: the spatial characteristics of Tonga’s internal migration between 2001 and 2006 and between 2006 and 2011, and the demographic characteristics of migrants during the same two periods. The spatial analysis explores four patterns of migration with reference to the major administrative divisions in Tonga: within and between districts, within and between divisions, rural-urban migration, and migration between the Northern islands and Tongatapu to the south (the ‘drift south’). Five demographic characteristics: - age and sex, marital status, education and qualifications, and occupation - are examined for migrants and non-migrants. The analysis of internal migration in this thesis is the first substantive assessment of internal migration in Tonga for many years. There has been a much stronger focus on international migration than internal migration in the Pacific region over the past two decades. The findings from the study are important in the context of an on-going debate about the scale and pace of urbanisation in Pacific countries. The research finds that there has been considerable stability in the patterns of population movement between the different administrative units in Tonga and that while urbanisation of the population continues, some of the major demographic changes linked with internal migration are occurring in rural Tongatapu.
Type of thesis
Lolohea, S. F. (2016). Internal Migration in Tonga, 2001 - 2011: A review of Migrant Flows and Characteristics (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10741
University of Waikato
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