Internal rural migration and marginality: the case of Agusan del Sur, Philippines

  • Nicolas Daix

    Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences


    In many developing countries, human migration is a real strategy of survival. In addition to international migrations - that affect more than 200 million people worldwide – internal migrations (within the same country) affect even more people – about 330 million people according to United Nations. In formulating the Millennium Development Goals, the UN took into account the phenomena above. The understanding and the management of these migratory movements constitute a strong leverage in poverty reduction strategies. Among internal migration, the migrations towards rural areas are substantial and quantitatively widely studied. Nevertheless, the impacts associated with the arrival of in-migrants in a rural area – out of the environmental impacts, which are well documented - are poorly studied. We know relatively little about the role of in-migration on the rural host region’s development. This kind of study constitutes a real challenge today. Development studies are most often focusing on economic perspectives while they generally associate development with poverty. The study of people’s marginality – as a result of economic, political and spatial factors – is perceived as a valuable contribution to the broad impact of internal migration. The marginality concept itself remains quite unclear and controversial. The main objective of this thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of the existing linkages between rural in-migration and marginality. Agusan del Sur Province (Philippines) has been selected as a case study due to its poverty and migration characteristics. This province has experienced several in-migration flows since the 1960s. As “Promise Land” of The Philippines in terms of prosperous natural capital (forests, mineral resources, soil fertility, typhoon free), the province has seen a tremendous landscape and population change for the last fifty years. Strong in-migration marginality and land use change linkages are suspected. The current research starts with the clarification of the concept of marginality. Based on the socioeconomic data from local government, the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) outputs are used to quantify the marginality level for every village in the province. Specific attention is paid to the remoteness of all villages from towns with a view to infer a spatial structure for the marginality. An endogenous marginality indicator is suggested to highlight some possible strict endogenous factors. Global marginality and endogenous marginality being specified and captured, the major explanatory factors are explored, such as the population size, the proportions of in-migrants, their socio-demographic profile, some environmental variables. Remote sensing techniques (LUCC, NDVI), correlation analysis, local analysis (LISA) and Factorial Correspondence Analysis (FCA) in connection with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) represent the main tools we used to highlight the rural in-migration versus marginality linkages.
    Date of Award20 Aug 2010
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Namur
    SupervisorFrancoise FERAUGE (Supervisor), Eric Depiereux (President), Sabine Henry (Jury), Sébastien OLIVEAU (Jury) & Pedro Walpole (Jury)

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