Age at First Migration and Educational Attainment of Young Adults in Indonesia

Main Article Content

Meirina Ayumi Malamassam


First migration is an important milestone that signals the beginning of one’s migration career. Variations in the timing of the first migration signify critical contextual factors that shape individuals' life trajectories, including their educational pathways. This study aimed to examine the variations in the age at first migration of young Indonesians by their educational attainment. This study analyzed data from the migration and education modules from all waves of the Indonesian Family Life Survey. Survival analysis approaches were used to estimate the probability of first migration among the 2,075 observations during young adulthood. This study found that people with low levels of education migrate for the first time at younger ages, possibly after terminating their schooling. Meanwhile, education-related motives are critical in explaining the high migration propensity around the age of 18–19 years by the tertiary-educated group. Despite the varying intensities, the relationships between education and migration were consistent across cohorts. These findings suggest that positive and negative educational selectivity were observable in the age schedule of the first migration of young adult Indonesians.

Article Details

How to Cite
Malamassam, M. A. (2023). Age at First Migration and Educational Attainment of Young Adults in Indonesia. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 32, 290–307. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biography

Meirina Ayumi Malamassam, Research Center for Population, National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia

Corresponding author


• Aisa, R., Cabeza, J., & Larramona, G. (2014). Education and age at migration. Optimal Control Applications and Methods, 35(4), 412–422.

• Auwalin, I. (2020). Ethnic identity and internal migration decision in Indonesia. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 46(13), 2841–2861.

• Bell, M., & Muhidin, S. (2009). Cross-national comparisons of internal migration. Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

• Bernard, A. (2014). Migration age patterns and life-course transitions: A cross-national comparison [Doctoral thesis]. University of Queensland.

• Bernard, A. (2017). Levels and patterns of internal migration in Europe: A cohort perspective. Population Studies, 71(3), 293–311.

• Bernard, A. (2022a). Age at first adult migration and repeat internal migration. In A. Bernard (Ed.), Internal migration as a life-course trajectory: Concepts, methods and empirical applications (pp. 83–101). Springer International Publishing.

• Bernard, A. (2022b). Internal migration capital: Linking past and future migration over the life course. In A. Bernard (Ed.), Internal migration as a life-course trajectory: Concepts, methods and empirical applications (pp. 147–169). Springer International Publishing.

• Bernard, A., & Bell, M. (2018). Educational selectivity of internal migrants: A global assessment. Demographic Research, 39(29), 835–854.

• Bernard, A., Bell, M., & Charles-Edwards, E. (2016). Internal migration age patterns and the transition to adulthood: Australia and Great Britain compared. Journal of Population Research, 33(2), 123–146.

• Bernard, A., & Pelikh, A. (2019). Distinguishing tempo and ageing effects in migration. Demographic Research, 40(44), 1291–1322.

• Bernard, A., & Vidal, S. (2020). Does moving in childhood and adolescence affect residential mobility in adulthood? An analysis of long-term individual residential trajectories in 11 European countries. Population, Space and Place, 26(1), Article e2286.

• BPS - Statistics Indonesia. (2017). Perkawinan usia anak di Indonesia 2013 dan 2015 (Edisi revisi) [Child marriage in Indonesia 2013 and 2015 (Revised edition)].

• BPS - Statistics Indonesia. (2021). Indeks pembangunan manusia [Human development index].

• BPS - Statistics Indonesia. (2023). Penduduk Indonesia: Hasil long form sensus penduduk 2020 [Population of Indonesia: The result of long form population census 2020].

• Brezis, E. S. (2019). Should individuals migrate before acquiring education or after? A new model of brain waste vs. brain drain. The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, 19(2), Article 20190015.

• Clark, W. A. V. (2013). Life course events and residential change: Unpacking age effects on the probability of moving. Journal of Population Research, 30(4), 319–334.

• Corcoran, J., & Faggian, A. (2017). Graduate migration and regional development: An international perspective. In J. Corcoran & A. Faggian (Eds.), Graduate migration and regional development: An international perspective (pp. 1–10). Edward Elgar Publishing.

• Crivello, G. (2011). 'Becoming somebody': Youth transitions through education and migration in Peru. Journal of Youth Studies, 14(4), 395–411.

• Faggian, A., & Franklin, R. S. (2014). Human capital redistribution in the USA: The migration of the college-bound. Spatial Economic Analysis, 9(4), 376–395.

• Ginsburg, C., Bocquier, P., Beguy, D., Afolabi, S., Augusto, O., Derra, K., Odhiambo, F., Otiende, M., Soura, A. B., Zabre, P., White, M., & Collinson, M. (2016). Human capital on the move: Education as a determinant of internal migration in selected INDEPTH surveillance populations in Africa. Demographic Research, 34(30), 845–884.

• Hartog, J., & Winkelmann, R. (2003). Comparing migrants to nonmigrants: The case of Dutch migration to New Zealand. Journal of Population Economics, 16(4), 683–705.

• Harttgen, K., & Klasen, S. (2009). A human development index by internal migration status. Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

• Heckert, J. (2015). New perspective on youth migration: Motives and family investment patterns. Demographic Research, 33(27), 765–800.

• International Labour Organization (ILO). (2014, October). National legislation on hazardous child labour—Indonesia.

• Jones, G. W., & Pratomo, D. (2018). Education in Indonesia: Trends, differential, and implications for development. In C. Z. Guilmoto & G. W. Jones (Eds.), Contemporary demographic transformations in China, India, and Indonesia (pp. 195–214). Springer International Publishing AG.

• Jones, G. W., Rangkuti, H., Utomo, A., & McDonald, P. (2016). Migration, ethnicity, and the educational gradient in the Jakarta mega-urban region: A spatial analysis. Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, 52(1), 55–76.

• Liu, Y., Shen, J., Xu, W., & Wang, G. (2017). From school to university to work: Migration of highly educated youths in China. The Annals of Regional Science; Heidelberg, 59(3), 651–676.

• Malamassam, M. A. (2016). Youth migration in Indonesia: Decision to move and to choose of destination areas. Indonesian Journal of Geography, 48(1), 62–72.

• Malamassam, M. A. (2022). Spatial structure of youth migration in Indonesia: Does education matter? Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 15(4), 1045–1074.

• Muhidin, S. (2018). An analysis of the relationship between internal migration and education in Indonesia (Background Paper ED/GEMR/MRT/2018/P1/5; 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report). UNESCO.

• Mulder, C. H. (1993). Migration dynamics: A life course approach. Thesis Publishers.

• Pardede, E. L., & Mulder, C. H. (2022). The roles of family resources and family structure in moving from the parental home and village among young Indonesians. Population, Space and Place, 28(1), Article e2535.

• Plane, D. A. (1993). Demographic influences on migration. Regional Studies, 27(4), 375–383.

• Plane, D. A., & Heins, F. (2003). Age articulation of U.S. inter-metropolitan migration flows. The Annals of Regional Science, 37(1), 107–130.

• Plane, D. A., & Rogerson, P. A. (1991). Tracking the baby boom, the baby bust, and the echo generations: How age composition regulates US migration. The Professional Geographer, 43(4), 416–430.

• Pratomo, D. S. (2017). Does post-migration education improve labour market performance? Findings from four cities in Indonesia. International Journal of Social Economics, 44(9), 1139–1153.

• Rao, N. (2010). Migration, education and socioeconomic mobility. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 40(2), 137–145.

• Rogers, A., & Castro, L. J. (1981). Model migration schedules (IIASA Research Report RR-81-030). IIASA.

• Semela, T., & Cochrane, L. (2019). Education—migration nexus: Understanding youth migration in Southern Ethiopia. Education Sciences, 9(2), Article 77.

• Sjaastad, L. A. (1962). The costs and returns of human migration. Journal of Political Economy, 70(5), 80–93.

• Strauss, J., Witoelar, F., & Sikoki, B. (2016). The fifth wave of the Indonesia Family Life Survey: Overview and field report (Working Paper WR-1143/1-NIA/NICHD). RAND Corporation.

• Sukamdi, & Mujahid, G. (2015). Internal migration in Indonesia. UNFPA Indonesia.

• Suryadarma, D., & Jones, G. W. (2013). Meeting the education challenge. In D. Suryadarma & G. W. Jones (Eds.), Education in Indonesia (pp. 1–14). ISEAS Publishing.

• Tian, M., Tian, Z., & Cushing, B. (2016). Inter-city migration in China: A recurrent-event duration analysis of repeat migration. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 9(3), 551–569.

• Tirtosudarmo, R. (2009). Mobility and human development in Indonesia. Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

• Vidal, S., & Lutz, K. (2018). Internal migration over young adult life courses: Continuities and changes across cohorts in West Germany. Advances in Life Course Research, 36, 45–56.

• Wajdi, N., Adioetomo, S. M., & Mulder, C. H. (2017). Gravity models of interregional migration in Indonesia. Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, 53(3), 309–332.

• Wajdi, N., Mulder, C. H., & Adioetomo, S. M. (2017). Inter-regional migration in Indonesia: A micro approach. Journal of Population Research, 34(3), 253–277.

• Widaryoko, N., Sukamdi, & Pitoyo, A. J. (2023). Remapping internal migration: How complex are Indonesian migration trajectories? Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 32, 56–77.

• Wilson, T. (2015). The impact of education-bound mobility on inter-regional migration age profiles in Australia. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 8(4), 371–391.

• Winters, J. V. (2011). Why are smart cities growing? Who moves and who stays. Journal of Regional Science, 51(2), 253–270.

• Yaqub, S. (2009). Child migrants with and without parents: Census-based estimates of scale and characteristics in Argentina, Chile and South Africa (Discussion Papers IDP No. 2009-02). UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.