Migration and Development

Perspectives from Small States

image of Migration and Development

Over the past two decades, studies on the migration-development nexus often portray small states as one homogeneous group, ‘developing countries’, without considering their critical and peculiar challenges or inherent vulnerabilities, due mainly to their size.

This book explores key dynamics of migration and development in a small states setting. It includes case studies from small states in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific that will help policy-makers to embrace migration as an inevitable phenomenon and devise policies that will maximise the benefits from migration at a minimal cost.



The Pacific Diaspora

Emigration from Pacific island countries (PICs) began in earnest in the 1960s, in Polynesia, belatedly followed by many Micronesian states, but has not been characteristic of Melanesia. Many Polynesian states have more ‘ethnic nationals’ overseas than at home. Migration has resulted in an overseas population of around 850,000 people of Pacific ancestry/ethnicity, rather more than the entire resident population of Polynesia. Fiji has numerically the largest diasporic population but Samoa and Tonga have higher proportions of their nationals overseas than all other independent PICs. Remittances are crucial for several Polynesian states especially; they grew steadily until the global financial crisis, and the Pacific is one of the most remittance-dependent regions in the world.


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