International Migration and City Growth in the Global South

Mathias Lerch , Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

The opportunities and risks of city growth in the global South are in contrast to the scarce demographic evidence base, especially on international migration. We analyze the contribution of internal and international migration to city growth by country and global city-size class. Combining individual-level census data (IPUMS) with indirect demographic estimation techniques, we provide estimates (including confidence intervals) of the components of population change in more than 140 metropolitan areas in the global South between 1990 and 2010. Metropolitan populations are consistently defined based on geo-spatial data. Preliminary results reveal that, although natural increase dominates city growth, net international migration is positive and/or its demographic impact is larger than that of internal migration in at least one third of the metropolitan populations in the sample. The relative growth contribution of internal migration tends to decrease with rising city size, while the role played by international movements tends to increase.

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 Presented in Session 28. Urbanization and Urban Change