4 Dec 2009

Increasing number of young adult women choosing to leave Fiji

7:34 am on 4 December 2009

An increasing number of young adult women choosing to leave Fiji in search of education and marriage is a key factor in a dramatic slump in the Indo-Fijian population.

A lecturer from the University of the South Pacific, Dharma Chandra, presented an analysis of population trends at a recent symposium.

Ms Chandra says forty years ago Indo Fijians made up half of Fiji's population, but she predicts by 2030 they will make up only a quarter of the people living there.

"Migration of women is definitely higher than that of men within the same age bracket. And they go for marriage, looking for marriage partners, as well as education. So if you really shift that population out of Fiji you find that that will have an impact on the fertility in the long run."

Ms Chandra says a 13 per cent drop in the Indo-Fijian population in the last four decades is likely to accelerate as many of those leaving won't return and once they have children, their mobile grandparents will also emigrate.