Population Growth and Internal Migration in Colombia

by T. P. Schultz

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An analysis of Colombia's population explosion and increased internal migration. In recent years, Colombia has experienced one of the world's most rapid population growth rates and an unprecedented migration from rural to urban areas. An analysis of interregional differences in fertility reveals that urbanization and rising incomes may not in themselves reduce birth rates or impede population growth; however, wide dissemination of basic education, improved employment for women, and better child and health services may reduce fertility indirectly. Rural-to-urban migration is largely understood in terms of the rates of population growth and concurrent agricultural wage levels. If the underlying causes for this migratory process remain constant for the next decade, the rate of rural-to-urban migration is likely to rise. If the urban unemployment problem worsens, however, this process will likely be self-limiting. Internal migration performs an important function in a country's economic development, and corrective policy should not try to curb it to relieve urban unemployment; rather, a demand for labor should be promoted in both the rural and urban sectors. 114 pp.

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