Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Report: Drop in LatAm immigrants in Spain

A few weeks ago, the Census announced that the number of Latinos in the U.S. grew by 43% between 2000 and 2010. The expansion of the Latino population nationwide was partly attributed by one media source to legal and undocumented immigration.

Across the Atlantic, meanwhile, Spanish data suggests another major demographic shift pertaining to immigration. According to the National Statistics Institute (INE) the number of migrants from Latin America dropped between January 2010 and the first month of this year. During that time period, the number of residents from Ecuador fell by 10.1% while there was a 9.3% decrease in the number of Argentines and Brazilians.

The decrease in Latin Americans living in Spain was somewhat offset by a boost of migrants from E.U. member countries, which explains why one local official in Valencia said that the community has become “Europeanized.” Nevertheless, the number of foreign-born residents declined by 0.3% to 5.7 million; hence, the first national decrease since 1998.

The faltering Spanish economy could be to blame for the decreasing number of Latin Americans in Spain. Indeed, a Migration Policy Institute report released in March noted, “Perhaps due to the reduced economic demand, the number of new arrivals in Spain has also decreased significantly”.

With limited opportunities in Spain, a BBC Mundo article claimed that migrants have looked elsewhere including Latin American countries with healthier economies than Spain:
(According to Ecuadorian Immigration Secretary Lorena Escudero) some migrants opt for other European countries including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy.

This may possibly be occurring with migrants from Argentina and Brazil. Though in the case of the latter many Brazilians may be convince tor return home due to the good progress of Brazil’s economy.
Image- Getty Images via BBC News (“Spain's unemployment rate is double the average for the Eurozone.”)
Online Sources- CSMonitor.com, La Republica, El Mundo, Migration Policy Institute, Publico.es, BBC Mundo

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