Migration from Latin America to Europe

Trends and Policy Challenges

image of Migration from Latin America to Europe

Part of the IOM Migration Research Series, this study reveals various trends and policy challenges relating to migration from Latin America and the Caribbean to Europe, which has grown rapidly over the last decade. These increased flows calls for strengthened cooperation between the two regions on migration issues, specifically the effective integration of migration issues into the ongoing development cooperation activities and political dialogues.



Executive summary

Migration to Europe from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has grown rapidly over the last decade. Most of the flows are directed towards southern European countries, although other European countries have also seen significant increases. Widespread poverty and economic hardship caused by the recession in LAC, together with the tightening of visa regimes in the United States, have been a major contributing cause of increased flows. The most recent data in major destination countries, such as Spain, show that the largest increases occurred over the past two to three years. The existence of what is now a significant LAC diaspora in Europe may itself be a driving force for further migration, and flows are likely to continue to increase in the future. The demographic profile of LAC migrants in Europe shows a young population with high rates of labour force participation, relatively high levels of education and strong remitting behaviour. Over US$ 1 billion are remitted annually from Spain to LAC, and 1 billion from the rest of Europe. These figures are expected to rise further as remittance services improve for a growing LAC diaspora.


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