Academic journal article SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia

Interregional Migration Flows in Indonesia

Academic journal article SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia

Interregional Migration Flows in Indonesia

Article excerpt

While it accounts for just 6.8 per cent of Indonesia's territory, Java accounts for 57.5 per cent of the total population of the country. In comparison, that part of the island of New Guinea lying in Indonesia accounts for 21.8 per cent of the country's territory but only 1.5 per cent of its population. And Sumatera, inhabited by 21.3 per cent of the total population of Indonesia, represents 25.2 per cent of its territory. In light of these patterns of population distribution, migration may represent an important mechanism of population redistribution.

Previous research has focused on migration flows to and from Java (Alatas 1993; Firman 1994), migration flows to and from Jakarta (Chotib 1998), inter-island migration (Rogers et al. 2004) and inter-provincial migration flows (Darmawan and Chotib 2007; Firman 1994). Yet, work on migration flows between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas or between metropolitan areas, particularly work undertaken using a population redistribution framework, remains rare. This article aims to address interregional migration flows in Indonesia employing such a framework. It seeks to answer the following questions. Where do the main streams of migrants come from? What are their destinations? In what phase of population redistribution does Indonesia currently find itself? With so much interregional migration, is there any pattern of regional concentration involving a specific set of origin-destination regional flows? To answer these questions we use three large data sets, the Population Censuses of 2000 and 2010 and the Intercensal Population Survey of 2005. We divide Indonesia into thirteen regions consisting of metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas and analyse these data using logistic regression and the migration Gini index. We argue that Java retains its position as the preferred destination for migration, though migration flows have gradually shifted in favour of destinations outside Java. Furthermore, findings of significant migration flows from large cities to their surroundings indicate that Indonesia is entering the sub-urbanization phase of population redistribution, and findings showing metropolitan-to-non-metropolitan movement and decreasing preferences for metropolitan areas indicate that Indonesia is entering the sixth of Long's phases of population redistribution.

Literature Review

As a demographic factor, migration plays an important role in altering population distribution and thus in affecting the growth of large cities in developing countries. It is responsible for a considerable part of demographic concentration and also for population redistribution in such countries (Hogan and Pinto da Cunha 2001, p. 7733). At the same time, regional development is closely related to migration (De Haas 2010, pp. 228-29; Fan 2005, p. 295; Zelinsky 1971, pp. 237-38). Zelinsky (1971, pp. 221-22) proposed the mobility transition model to explain changes in spatial mobility linked to the theory of demographic transition and modernization. The model offers a generalization of the transition occurring in both the rate and scale of migration as society changes over time. That is, it views migration in the context of the economic and social change that accompanies the modernization process (Boyle et al. 1998, p. 60; Hagen-Zanker 2008, p. 9).

There are five stages of mobility transition--those characterizing pre-modern traditional society, early transitional society, late transitional society, advanced society and future super-advanced society. Zelinsky argued that mobility transition is an ideal and flexible scheme for explaining movement in space and time and for describing or predicting the specific patterns of migration or circulation to an area or set of areas. However, the scheme lacked the ability to explain distance, time and rate of migration. Despite the importance of this theory as a comprehensive framework to explain human mobility, it ignores important characteristics of an advanced society, sub-urbanization and counter-urbanization (Bijak 2006, p. …

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