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Indian migration to the South Pacific

Migration A–Z

I

  1. Doug Munro

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm585

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Munro, D. 2013. Indian migration to the South Pacific. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

Indian immigration to the Pacific Islands was highly localized. Between 1979 and 1916, almost 61,000 Indians arrived in Fiji as indentured laborers, comprising 5 percent of the 1.2 million indentured Indians to the British empire. In a regional context, the Indians who migrated to Fiji were part of a series of indentured labor flows from within and without the Pacific Islands to fulfill the expanding requirements of the plantation system especially, but also the demands of mining, ranching, public works, and domestic services. A similar number of Melanesians, involving 61,000 contracts of indenture, were received by Queensland, and a further 146,000 indentured workers, predominantly Asians, worked on sugar plantations in Hawaii. The Melanesia labor trade to Samoa was much smaller, a quarter of the size, and later supplemented by 3,800 Chinese workers. These migration flows of laborers from within and beyond the region amounted to approximately 500,000 indentured laborers prior to 1914, and at least another 300,000 afterwards.

Keywords:

  • immigration;
  • labor;
  • labor supply;
  • capitalism;
  • political economy