Internal migration in the Sudan : some demographic and socio-economic aspects
The outstanding characteristics of the population geography of the Sudan are seen in its vastness of the area, its low population density, its high population fertility, decreasing mortality rates and uneven distribution of developmental projects among its regions. All these have important effects upon the economic and de mographic characteristics of its population. They also underline the uneven distribution of the country's population, as a result of which large-scale migration movements occur. Three types of population movements in the Sudan are discussed; inter-provincial movements, rural-urban migration and seasonal migration for cotton picking in the Gezira scheme. In the discussion of the first type, the analysis covers issues related to the general levels of movements amongst the 18 provinces of the country, rates of in- and out-migration in each province and their net migration balances. Also, it discusses the spatial structure of the movement, and some gaining and losing provinces are singled out. The impacts of the movements and their selective nature are also revealed. Rural-urban migration to the capital city of Khartoum is studied using the 1983 census data, other published data and the author's 1988/89 survey of migrant households in the city. The scale of the migration and the characteristics of the migrants are analyzed. Additionally, the structure of the migrant households, literacy, occupation contrasts and links with the village are investigated. The reasons behind the migration decision and the reward of the rural-urban migration are also shown. Seasonal migration is discussed to disclose the nature of the movement and its patterns which are associated with the cotton picking operation in the Gezira scheme. The types of labour involved and labour market conditions are also investigated. The findings verified the seasonality of the movement to the scheme and the consistent relationship between migrants and tenants in the scheme.