A new study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) covering emigration trends and patterns in the first decade of the new millennium has revealed that around 4% of the population in the Latin American and Caribbean region has emigrated between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, around 26 million emigrants moved out of the region. This figure has risen to 28.5 million in 2010.
The USA is the most preferred destination with 70% of all emigrants preferring to move here. The next most-preferred destination is Spain, which has received around 2.4 million or 8% of all Latin American and Caribbean citizens who moved out in the decade between 2000 and 2010.
Amongst the nations in this region, Mexico is the most significant contributor of emigrants with around 40% of all emigrants, around 11.8 million individuals, coming from Mexico. Colombia and El Salvador are next with around 2 million and 1.3 million emigrants respectively.
The USA is very popular amongst Mexican emigrants with almost the entire emigrant population from Mexico choosing America as the new home. On the whole, the USA is home to 20.8 million emigrants from the Latin American and Caribbean region.
Apart from the emigration data, figures related to immigration threw up some interesting patterns and trends. Around 1.1% of the entire population of the region is made up by immigrants. However, there has been a fall in immigration from countries outside the region. Interregional migration is high and more than 50% of the immigrant population consists of individuals who were born in the region before moving out to a different country within the region.
Data related to Latin American and Caribbean immigrants born outside the region indicated a significant fall between 2000 and 2010. The flow of immigrants into countries like Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Ecuador was not enough to make up the reduction in population in these countries due to emigration and mortality.
Countries like Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Mexico, and Panama saw an increase in its population due to higher inflow of immigrants as compared to outflow of emigrants and decrease in population due to mortality. Immigrants constitute around 11.3%, 7.4%, 7.1%, and 6.2% in Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Mexico, and Panama respectively.
The trends indicate that immigration of Spaniards into the region may have intensified due to the impact of the global economic crisis. However, the inflow pales into insignificance when compared to the outflow of emigrants from the Lat-Am and Caribbean region to European countries.
The study reveals that people leaving this region for education don’t prefer returning to the region. Around 100,000 individuals returned to the region after their studies. Mexico saw the higher number of individuals returning after moving to a foreign country. However, the figure of 860,000 includes forced repatriations as well.
ECLAC’s research project named Investigation of International Migration in Latin America has analyzed data from a sample base of ten countries that had 2010 census data available in the first half of 2014. The study also relies on data and figures of the United Nations Population Division and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.