1986 Volume 13 Issue 19 Pages 41-53
Multidimensional scaling technique was applied to the Brazilian migration matrix in order to identify the functional regions of the nation, using the 1970 census data for males. The results obtained from three types of proximity matrices confirmed the key roles of Minas Gerais and Mato Grosso as the core states in addition to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Substantial circulation of migrants among the core states runs counter to the popular notion about the Northeastern states as the major source of labor in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The Northeast were found to consist of three groups of states: Maranhao, Piaui and Ceará showed a stable clustering, but peripherally located, in all configurations; and, the other two groups failed to form persistent regions across configurations. Though limited in scope, the observed attraction of Espirito Santo and Goiás violated the widely held negative effect of distance and deserves further investigation.