A new European Union (EU)-funded International Organization for Migration (IOM) study on migratory flows in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and between LAC and the EU, was released on 5 October 2012.
The study shows a marked increase in migration from the EU to LAC and a marked decrease in the number of LAC migrants entering the EU, attributing this shift to the economic crisis affecting the EU, and in particular Spain, the main destination country for LAC nationals.
According to the report, in 2008 and 2009, more than 107,000 Europeans, including dual nationals, left their home countries to live in a LAC country. Most went to Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Mexico. The main source countries were Spain (47,701), Germany (20,926), the Netherlands (17,168) and Italy (15,701).
According to the report, the largest group were young, single Spanish and Portuguese men with higher levels of education in social sciences or civil engineering, who emigrated to LAC countries to advance their careers.
While the study confirms that migratory flows from LAC countries to the EU have gradually increased since 2000, they decreased from a peak of some 400,000 in 2006 to 229,000 in 2009.
But it notes that almost 4.29 million people from LAC countries still reside in the EU, notably in Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and France, and almost 1.25 million EU citizens are currently living in LAC countries.
Touching on the link between migration and development, the study notes that women in particular have been pioneers in migration from LAC to the EU, and the remittances they send back to their families in their home countries have been essential to development in the region.
Remittances from the EU to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) reached USD 7.25 billion in 2010. Those from CELAC to the EU were USD 4.66 billion.
To download the study (available in Spanish), please click here.
Source: IOM Press Note (please read it for more information)