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Analysis of the migrant population of Bogotá, Colombia. online

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those ten to 14 years of age in the second census. This, of
course, is in addition to the exclusion of those under ten
years of age. In Elizaga's study of migration to Greater
Santiago, 14.2 percent of all male migrants and 13.1 percent

of all female migrants in his sample had moved to the capital

city when they were ten to 14 years of age.

15 Shryock et al . , The Methods and Materials of Demography ,
p. 655.

16 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
Methods of Measuring Internal Migration , p. 34.

17 Juan C. Elizaga, Migraciones a las Areas Metropolitanas
de America Latina (Santiago: CELADE, 19703, p. 35. ~~~


It is clear that the adjustments that must be made in
order to be able to apply the census -survival technique allow
for a significant margin of error to enter into the net migra-
tion estimates. It is therefore probably best to discard the
estimate reached utilizing this approach and to rely more
heavily on the results afforded by the use of the vital-
statistics method.

The National-Growth-Rate Method

For lack of a better term, this procedure has been

labeled as the national-growth-rate method following the

terminology of Shryock and his associates. It is probably

the simplest of all the approaches utilized in this chapter.

The first assumption that must be made is that the national

population is a relatively "closed" one, that is, with little

or insignificant international migration, so that its growth

can be attributed only to the difference between the number

of births and deaths. Assuming further that the rate of

natural increase of a geographic division is equal to the

national rate, an estimate of the natural increase of that

area can be arrived at simply by applying the national growth

rate to the population of the geographic division according

to the first census. The difference between that estimate

of natural increase and the actual enumerated population in

18 Shryock e_t al. , The Methods and Materials of Demography ,
p. 625.


that area in the second census can be attributed to migration.
While it cannot be assumed that Bogota's growth as a result
of the differences between the vital processes equaled the
nation's natural increase, it can be safely concluded that in

the period from 1951 to 1964 Colombia's growth was impercep-

tibly affected by international migration.

Applying this method to the Colombian data for the inter-
censal period in question results in a net migration estimate
of +583,557 for Bogota, D.E. This figure is equal to 59.4
percent of the total increase in the Distrito's population
during that same period.

The discrepancy between this estimate and the one
arrived at through the vital-statistics method at first
appears puzzling. The estimates disagreed in a manner exactly
the opposite of which would have been expected. The vital-
statistics method, because of the inevitable underregistration
of vital events, can be expected to overestimate net migration.
The national-growth-rate method, on the other hand, should
underestimate the role of migration because Bogota can be
expected to have a lower natural increase than the total
population of Colombia. Nevertheless, the opposite pre-
vailed, since through the vital-statistics method it was
estimated that 50.5 percent of the increase could be attrib-
uted to migration.

19 Smith, "How High is the Birth Rate in Colombia?" p. 243.


The puzzle starts unraveling itself when it is realized
that unlike the two residual methods utilized earlier, the
national-growth-rate method is not strictly an estimate of
net migration. It is a measure that renders an estimate of
the total population increase that can be attributed to migra-
tion. Migration not only adds population to Bogota through a
positive balance between the movement of persons in and the
movement of persons out, but also through the fertility of
the migrants once in the city. Even if the estimates derived
from the vital-statistics and census -survival techniques were
absolutely accurate, they would still be understatements of
the total contribution of migration to the growth of Bogota.
As Weller, Macisco, and Martine have noted, it is a mistake
to dichotomize the components of urban growth in Latin America
between net migration and natural increase and assume that
the natives of the city are the only ones responsible for the
latter while the migrants' contribution to city growth is
only through the former. In fact, they argue, given the
selectivity of migration by age and the numerical importance
of migrants in the populations of many Latin American cities,

it is probable that migrants account for more than half of

the natural increase of many urban areas. It should be

added that, although many migrants contribute to a city's

natural increase as a result of unions formed after they

Robert H. Weller, John J. Macisco, Jr., George B.
Martine, "The Relative Importance of the Components of Urban
Growth in Latin America,"" Demography , VIII (May, 1971),
pp. 230-231.


migrated, it is probably also the case that a substantial
portion of all children born in the city to migrant women
were conceived even before their mothers migrated.

Although it is very difficult to estimate the proportion
of Bogota's natural increase that can be attributed to the
fertility of migrants, perhaps an advance viewing of some of
the materials on age composition in Chapter V could give us
an idea of the magnitude of that proportion. Figure 4 in
that chapter is a dramatic illustration not only of the high
percentages of non-migrants under ten years of age, but also
of the much higher proportions of migrants as compared to
non-migrants in the reproductive ages. In the two tables
that immediately follow Figure 4, the numerical superiority
of migrants in reproductive ages is glaringly obvious. Look-
ing specifically at females, it can be seen that there are
more than twice the number of female migrants in the ages 15
to 24 than non-migrants in that age and sex category. The
ratio is even higher among those females 25 to 44, with
migrants outnumbering non-migrants better than three to one.
At the same time, there were 437,382 non-migrant children

under the age of ten accounting for 53 percent of the total

population born in the city. Obviously, migrant women must

These non-migrant children, of course, are so labeled
because they were born in the city. Some of these, however,
are not only the offspring of migrants , but many actually
were conceived before the mother migrated to Bogota. Whether
they are regarded as migrants or non-migrants really depends
upon one's ideas of when life begins, an issue currently
being debated with biological and theological arguments but
which need not overly concern us here.


have contributed a significant portion,, and probably more
than half, of all the children born in Bogota at least a
decade prior to the census. If the women in childbearing
ages that were born in Bogota were the only ones responsible
for the non-migrant children enumerated in the city in the
1964 census, their fertility ratio would be 211.3, undoubtedly
the highest of any population in the entire world.

In view of the importance of migrants in influencing the
city's fertility levels, it is not at all surprising that the
estimate derived from the national-growth-rate method is
higher than the one derived from the vital-statistics method.
While the latter only reflects net migration, the former can
be expected to estimate all of the increase in population that
resulted from migration. As presented earlier, that higher
estimate indicated that 59.4 percent of the growth of the
city from 1951 to 1964 can be attributed to migration. It is
well to recall that even that estimate is somewhat of an
understatement, since the growth rate of Colombia from 1951
to 1964 can be expected to be higher than the rate of natural
increase of the population enumerated in Bogota in 19 51.


In an attempt to ascertain the role of migration in the
growth of Bogota, the period from 1951 to 1964 was singled
out for analysis and various techniques were applied to the
available data. Two of those techniques, duration-of-residence


analysis and the census -survival-rate method yielded estimates
that were considered unreliable and were consequently dis-
carded. The difficulty with the analysis of duration of
residence is that it can only assess the magnitude of the
movement into Bogota of persons who were born elsewhere,
without any indication of how many persons migrated from the
city or even of how many natives of the city returned to
their place of birth. The shortcomings of the census -survival
approach center around the impossibility of applying the
method to the data on Bogota in the form in which they are

The vital-statistics method undoubtedly yielded the most
reliable estimate of net migration obtained in the entire
chapter. While it can be expected to slightly overestimate
migration, through this procedure it was estimated that net
migration was responsible for 50.5 percent of the growth of
Bogota from 1951 to 1964. However, since migration also con-
tributed to the growth of the city through the fertility of
the migrants, even an absolutely accurate estimate of net
migration cannot fully approximate the role of the migration
process in Bogota's growth. Because of its computational
logic, the national-growth-rate method is a measure that does
include children of migrants born in Bogota 1 in its estimate
of the total impact of migration. Applying that method to
the data on Colombia resulted in a figure that was equal to
slightly under 60 percent of the growth of the city from 1951
to 1964. Due to a minor deficiency in the logic of the


national-growth-rate method, even that high percentage is
considered to be a somewhat conservative estimate of the total
part played by migration in increasing the Distrito's popula-



After having ascertained the importance of migration in
influencing the growth of Bogota, the next logical step is
to determine where these migrants originate. Place of origin
is one of the fundamental questions raised in any analysis of
the migration process. As Zachariah notes, the determination
of where the city derives its migrants from is essential to
understanding many of their characteristics.

Studies of the different geographic sources of migrants
usually focus on identifying the principal centers of dis-
persion (to use Ravenstein's terms) or, as Eldridge and
others would prefer to call them, the significant "migration
streams." In addition to ascertaining these geographic ori-
gins, another dimension of the topic is analyzed here:
whether migrants come primarily from urban or from rural
areas. There are therefore two basic questions to which this
chapter is addressed: (1) identifying the geographic areas
that constitute the principal contributors of migrants to
Bogota; and (2) assessing the relative importance of the two

1 K. C. Zachariah, Migrants in Greater Bombay (Bombay:
Asia Publishing House, 1968) , pp. 48-4y.



residential categories as sources of migrants to Colombia's

In dealing with the above issues, the researcher must
define what is meant by place of origin. Is it the place
where the migrant was born or is it his place of residence
immediately before moving to the area in question? Despite
the preferences of the investigator, usually this will be
defined for him or her by the data, which will in most cases
be available only by place of birth.

Fortunately, the data on the migrant population of
Bogota in the 1964 census of Colombia are tabulated to ace
modate both definitions. Since place of birth and place of
previous residence represent two distinct approaches to the
determination of the origins of the migrants, they are ana-
lyzed separately and constitute the two principal divisions
of the present chapter.


Origins by Place of Birth

Unfortunately, the data on the place of birth of the
migrant population of Bogota in the 1964 census permit only
an analysis of geographic origins, that is, there is no
information on the residential status of the migrants in the
locality where they were born. Since the rural-urban origins
of the migrants, however, can be determined by place of pre-
vious residence, the analysis of these is given in the next


The units utilized by the Departamento Administrative
Nacional de Estadistica to indicate place of birth are the
de_p.ar_tame.ntos . the major civil- administrative divisions of

Colombia. Including the Distrito Especial de Bogota, there

were nineteen of these departamentos in 1964. There were

also three intendencias and five comisarias, but in the cen-

sus report these eight territories are all grouped into one
category. This poses no great difficulty, since they repre-
sent only a very small percentage of the total population of

Undoubtedly the best method of presenting the data on
place of birth is by the use of cartographic representations.
As Shryock and his associates note: "migration, because of

its definitional association with geographic areas, is

especially well suited to statistical mapping." T. Lynn

Smith and his associates have been particularly successful

in the application of cartographic techniques, not only to

migration analysis, but to a wide range of demographic and

- • 4

social phenomena. In Figure 1 this means is used to show

This includes La Guajira, an intendencia which was raised

to departamento status the same year the census was taken.


Henry S. Shryock et al_. , The Methods and Materials of
Demography (Washington"7""D. C. : U.S. Government Printing Office,
1971), p. 666.


T. Lynn Smith, Population Analysis (New York: McGraw-Hill
Book Company, Inc., 1948); Homer L. Hitt, "Three-Factor Carto-
graphic Representation," American Statistician , II (February,
1948), 21-22; T. Lynn Smith and Homer L. Hitt, The People of
Louisiana (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press,
1952) ; and T. Lynn Smith, Brazil: People and Institutions
(4th ed. , Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press,
1972) , p. 681.


Figure 1. The migrant population of Bogota, D.E. , by
depart amen to of birth and by sex, 1964.


the distribution of the migrant population of Bogota accord-
ing to departamen to of birth. Although a discussion of the
sex selectivity of the migration belongs in the next chapter,
that dimension has been included so as to take advantage of
the fact that the map permits the analysis of more than one
factor. It is also desirable to discuss sex selectivity here
since previous research has found that it is directly related
to the distance that migrants move.

Several noteworthy conclusions can be drawn from a study
of the illustration. The first and most significant one is
that the departamentos immediately surrounding Bogota are the
ones that contribute the largest proportion of the city's
migrants, while the share sent by those farthest away is
almost negligible. In other words, there is an inverse rela-
tionship between distance and the number of migrants each
departament o sends to Bogota. Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Tolima,
Santander, and Caldas account for 81.6 percent of the city's
migrants. The contribution of Cundinamarca alone, the depar -
tamento within which the Distrito Especial is located, amounts
to 34. 1 percent.

These findings are in agreement with previous research.
Zachariah, for example, found that 42 percent of the migrants
to Bombay was born in the state in which the city is

Figure 1 has been prepared from data compiled and com-
puted from Departamento Administrative Nacional de Estadis-
tica, XIII Censo Nacional de Poblacidn y II de Edificios y
Viviendas , Resumen de Bogota, D.E. (Bogota: DANE, 1969J ,
p~T 3~4~\ The actual figures used in the preparation of Figure
1 appear in the Appendix.


located. The relationship between migration and distance
was also confirmed by Taeuber for Tokyo, and by Smith for
Brazil's former Distrito Federal. It should be noted, how-
ever, that apart from these more recent sources, Ravenstein
has found this principle to operate in his study of migration
to London in the nineteenth century:

Looking to the proportion of migrants who have gone
from each county to London, we find that it bears a
most pronounced relation to distance, modified by
facility of access and the vicinity to other centers
of absorption. 8

The last part of Ravenstein' s statement above, that the rela-
tionship may be affected by other factors, particularly the
attraction of migrants by other urban areas, is of particular
importance here. It is apparent that there are two other
departamentos , Antioquia and El Valle, which in relation to
their distance to Bogota should have contributed more mi-
grants than they did to the capital. The fact that they did
not is the result of having within their own boundaries sig-
nificant "centers of absorption": Medellin in Antioquia and
Cali in El Valle. One other departamento , Meta, also sent to
Bogota 1 a number of migrants that was significantly lower than
what would be expected given its relatively close proximity

Zachariah, Migrants in Greater Bombay , p. 50.

Irene Taeuber, The Population of Japan (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 19b8J , p. lbl; and Smith, Brazil
(4th ed.) , p. 149.

8 E. G. Ravenstein, "The Laws of Migration," Journal of
the Royal Statistical Society, XLVIII (June, 1885) , p. 208.


to the Distrito. The very simple explanation for this is
that Meta only had 165,530 inhabitants in 1964, the second
smallest population of all the departamentos in Colombia.
In other words, its potential for contributing migrants is
very small.

It should also be noted that although immigration is a
fairly insignificant factor in population change in Colombia
as a whole, the proportion that it represents of migration
to Bogota is fairly perceptible, constituting 2.4 percent of
all movement of population to the city, a figure that is com-
parable to the contribution of departamentos such as Huila
and Antioquia.

Certain conclusions can also be reached about the rela-
tionship between distance and the second factor which the
map portrays : sex. The migrants from Cundinamarca, Boyac£,
Tolima, Meta, Huila, and Santander all include higher pro-
portions of females than of males. Among those who were born
in the more distant municipios , as well as the foreign-born,
the situation is exactly the opposite, males exceeding
females in number. This, of course, is in agreement with the
often- confirmed generalization that in short-distance moves

females will outnumber males while the reverse is true for

migrations over long distances.

Ibid., p. 197; and T. Lynn Smith and Paul E. Zopf, Jr.,
Demography: Principles and Methods (Philadelphia: F. A.
Davis Company, 1970J, pp. 523-524.


This principle, however, like most sociological proposi-
tions, is not a law which is not subject to exceptions.
Numerous sources have suggested that the positive relation-
ship between distance and the sex ratio of the migration
streams can be altered by various other factors. It is
apparent from Figure 1 that there is no strict conformity to
the maxim. The migrants from Valle and Caldas appear to be
equally divided between the two sexes and those from Antioquia
have a higher proportion of males, despite the fact that all
three of these departamentos are relatively close to Bogota.
Undoubtedly, the presence of two significant urban nuclei,
Medellin and Cali, is having an effect on the patterns of
migration in the region, perhaps by attracting the majority
of rural migrants and thereby somewhat limiting the migration
from the area to Bogota to persons in certain urban occu-
pational categories in which males may predominate. While
this is only a conjecture, it seems fairly safe to conclude
that Figure 1 generally tends to confirm the principle that
distance has an effect on the manner in which migration
selects persons by sex, with females predominating in short-
distance migrations and males being particularly selected for
longer moves .

Sorokin and Zimmerman, Principles of Rural -Urban Soci -
ology , pp. 594-595; Donald J. Bogue, Principles of Demography
(New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1969), p. 765; and
Smith, Brazil (4th ed.), pp. 147-150.


To simply end here the discussion of the origins of the
migrants to Bogota by place of birth would be to overlook the
important question of the relationship between each departa -
mento 's contribution of migrants and its total native popula-
tion. That is, up to this point what has been ascertained is
the absolute number of natives, by sex, that each departa -
mento has sent to Bogota. The case of Meta, discussed earlier,
points out the importance of viewing the contribution of each
departamento in relation to its potential for sending migrants.

Accordingly, Figure 2 has been prepared specifically for
the purpose of demonstrating the proportion of the people
born in each departmento that resided in Bogota 1 in 1964, as
well as the importance of that proportion in relation to the
number that each departmento sent to areas in Colombia other
than the Distrito Especial.

The first observation that can be made from the illus-
tration is that distance is once again an important factor
even when viewing each departamento ' s contribution to Bogota 1
in relative terms. Cundinamarca and Boyaca are most notice-
able in this regard: the tremendous power the Distrito has
in attracting persons born in them is evidenced by the fact
that more than 50 percent of all migrants from those two
departamentos were residing in Bogota in 1964. As a

Figure 2 has been prepared from data compiled and com-
puted from Departamento Administrative Nacional de Estadis-
tica, Resumen de Bogota, D.E. (Bogota: DANE, 1969), p. 34.
The actual figures used in the preparation of Figure 2 appear
in the Appendix.

Figure 2. The population of Colombia by departamento of
birth and migration status, 1964.


consequence of this, Cundinamarca and Boyaca, in comparison
with the other departamentos , have relatively low proportions
of their natives still residing in their departamento of
birth. The migrants to Bogota, represented by the black seg-
ment of the circles, becomes almost imperceptible in the
areas most remote from the capital.

The effect of Medellin and Cali is also evident in this
figure. Antioquia and Valle exhibit a relatively high propor-
tion of their natives still residing in their departamento of
birth. This, of course, does not mean that those persons
born in these two departamentos are any less migratory than
persons from other areas, but only that in these two depar -
tamentos there are significant centers of absorption so that
the place of destination of most of their migrants is within
their own boundaries.

The influence of Medellin and Cali is also felt in the
high proportions of the native population of Caldas and
Tolima that migrated from their departamento of birth. It
will be recalled that both of these were among the most sig-
nificant contributors of migrants to Bogota. Nevertheless,
Figure 2 indicates that their contribution to Bogota is
relatively small compared to their total migratory output.
Undoubtedly this can be attributed to the fact that they are
the two departamentos that lie in the triangle formed by
Medellin, Cali, and Bogota, so that their natives are under
the influence of all three metropolitan centers and can
therefore be expected to have uniquely high rates of out-


Origins by Last Previous Place of Residence

The 1964 census of Colombia ascertained previous place
of residence for all persons who indicated that they were
living in other than their place of birth. The migrants were
asked to name the municipio and departamento where they had
lived immediately before moving to the place of enumeration.

They were also asked if they lived in a rural or urban area

in their place of last residence.

The printed census report, while providing information

on departamento of last previous residence, does not provide

additional data on the migrants' residential status in that

former location. Fortunately, these figures are available

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Online LibraryLisandro PérezAnalysis of the migrant population of Bogotá, Colombia. → online text (page 6 of 11)