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Individuals, Families and Development Policy in Reunion

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Part of the Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development book series (DTSD,volume 7)

Abstract

When Reunion was made a department of France in 1946, the island was underdeveloped. Two major changes occurred: strong demographic growth and the continuing increase of unemployment, leading the public authorities to implement a policy to control births and emigration to Metropolitan France. For many young adults faced with difficulties of finding jobs on the island, leaving it is a preferred option. However, despite public aid for mobility, some individuals are less equal than others regarding migration, as departures in terms of response more specifically involve the best educated youths. Lastly, the family determines the individual behaviours. Finally, taking into account the policy implemented by the government services to combat demographic growth and rising unemployment is necessary to understand the variations of migratory flows over the period. However, this macro approach needs to be completed by an analysis of the micro individual determinants of migration, as the decision to migrate varies considerably from one individual to another, and by a meso analysis of the impact of family determinants.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    With the exception of the British occupation from 1810 to 1815 during the Napoleonic wars (Vaxelaire 1999).

  2. 2.

    We use the term emigration here, although it entails the movement of individuals between regions belonging to the same national unit. Although the migration of the people of Reunion to France shares many characteristics with International migrations (distance, financial and psychological cost, etc.), it nonetheless concerns the internal mobility of a country.

  3. 3.

    Three reports submitted to the authorities (1941, 1948 and 1950) mentioned the need to organise emigration to Madagascar to solve the problem of Reunion’s overpopulation and respond to the difficulties of the most disadvantaged, especially the white smallholders in the highlands (Palmas 1999, 2005).

  4. 4.

    The word Sakay is the name of a river and a region situated in the middle-west of Madagascar, some 140 km west of Tananarive.

  5. 5.

    The BDPA received government subsidies via the FIDOM (Fonds d’Investissement pour le Développement Economique et Social des DOM) which allocated funds for setting up the SAKAY and procuring land for it in Madagascar (1200 ha).

  6. 6.

    Michel Debré was Deputy for Reunion from 1963 to 1988. He launched a voluntarist economic and social development policy for Reunion during the 1960s. The historian Gilles Gauvin devoted several works to Michel Debré’s actions. At a conference at the University of Reunion he summarised the action instigated by Michel Debré as three major “battles”: the “demographic battle”, the “economic battle” and the “social battle” (Gauvin 2006a, b).

  7. 7.

    In February and March 1991, unprecedented riots broke out in Reunion (uprisings, confrontations with the police, looting of shops), mainly in the Chaudron district. The event that sparked these riots was a decision made by the French Broadcasting Authority to terminate the programmes of TV Freedom (Akoz 2001).

  8. 8.

    Since 2010, the ANT has been replaced by the DOM mobility agency (LADOM). The new agency manages most of the mobility schemes, especially those involving the vocational and initial education of adults and students, those linked to territorial continuity, cultural and sports mobility, etc. The agency now has two main missions, aiding the young in overseas departments to find professional training and job opportunities, and ensuring territorial continuity to facilitate the mobility of overseas populations (www.ladom.fr).

  9. 9.

    Difference between departures and arrivals.

  10. 10.

    Migrations, familles et vieillissement” (Mfv) is an Ined-Insee survey (2009–2010) performed in four overseas departments. 4000 households were questioned in Reunion.

  11. 11.

    This groups the natives of working age (15-64 years old), whether they live in their department or in France.

  12. 12.

    Individuals with no qualification, or a primary or secondary school certificate (BEPC).

  13. 13.

    Among young people 25-29 years old, this ratio reaches 28% for Reunion.

  14. 14.

    Parents, children, brother or sister, spouse.

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Temporal, F. (2018). Individuals, Families and Development Policy in Reunion. In: Petit, V. (eds) Population Studies and Development from Theory to Fieldwork. Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development, vol 7. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-61774-9_10

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