The migration flow between the European Union to Latin America has reversed course, says a new study from International Organization for Migration (IOM). Now, more Europeans are heading to Latin American than Latin Americans heading to Europe.
The number of European immigrants to Latin America and the Caribbean reached 181,166 in 2014 compared to 119,000 who migrated from Latin America. Overall, migration from Latin America to Europe has dropped 68 percent since 2007.
“Over the past few years, changes in migration flows between Latin America and the Caribbean and EU countries show, once again, how the flows naturally adapt to the fluctuating socioeconomic realities and their potential as an adjustment tool and a response to economic and structural crisis,” said Laura Thompson, deputy director general of the International Organization for Migration on the organization’s website.
There are several reasons for the reversal, according to IOM. Employment has become much harder to find in Europe, especially in southern Europe where unemployment rates are close to 25%. Another reason is the flood of middle-eastern, eastern European, and African immigrants in recent years. “On top of unemployment among citizens, there are many more immigrants looking for work, and many of them are not counted in the employment figures.”
Most Europeans coming to Latin America are from Span, Portugal, and Italy, IOM says. The most popular destinations are Ecuador, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. The number of Europeans heading to Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela has dropped, due to poor economic conditions in those countries.
For Latin American living in Europe, Spain tops the list of EU countries, followed by Italy, Portugal, France and Germany, the study shows.