Demographic Change in the Bahamas: The Role of International Migration

Date
2018
Authors
Deleveaux, Jamiko Vandez
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Abstract

International migration in the Caribbean is a widely studied topic, but much of the research has lacked the incorporation of the Bahamas. This research provides the first study to observe the impact of migration on the development of the small island nation. The study investigates how demographic changes due to international migration influence Bahamian development. Additionally, the study asks four questions: 1)What does the Bahamas potentially gain and lose in economic, demographic, and social terms from the migration process as they adapt to gaining and losing human capital?; 2) What is the current demographic profile of the Bahamas and what role does international migration plays?; 3) Are there demographic and socioeconomic complementarities among emigrants, immigrants, and locals in the Bahamian migration process?; and 4) How do foreign nationals view their demographic and social contributions to the development of the Bahamas? The study collected in-depth interviews and field observations in New Providence, Bahamas during 2018. Demographic analysis used secondary data from various international and domestic sources such as the World Health Organization, Bahamas Central Bank, and the Bahamas Department of Statistics. The results of this study show that the impact of international migration is undeniable on Bahamian development. The outmigration of high-skilled citizens most notably women is creating a skill, knowledge, and innovation void in society. Although the Bahamas has sustained losses due to international migration, it also experiences gains from the contributions of immigrants through population growth, economic investments, and labor.

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Keywords
Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Demography, International Migration, Migration and Development
Citation
Department
Demography