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Migratory dynamics and the process of occupation of Central-Western Brazil: the case of Mato Grosso

José Marcos Cunha, Universidade Estadual de Campinas

This article focuses on the migration process in Mato Grosso State as an example of the Brazil's frontier occupation. This study, based on data from the Demographic Censuses of 1980 to 2000 and on qualitative interviews, tries to understand how the Mato Grosso’s territory has been affected demographically by the emergence of soybean growing, by the continuous expansion of cattle raising and, no less important, by the process of rural settlements related to the agrarian reform that arose there, especially during the 1990s. Data analyzed showed that the process of occupation of Mato Grosso has slowed down during the last 15 years, even though some regions in the northern part of the state still show great migratory dynamism. The terms "closing of the frontier" and "urbanization of the frontier" do in fact refer to questions that allow one to quite eloquently describe the processes in effect in Mato Grosso.

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Presented in Session 102: The demography of the frontier