Migration Flows in Latin America and the Caribbean: Statistics on Permits for Migrants

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Sep 2021
Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing significant changes in migration patterns. The crisis in Venezuela has generated the second largest displacement of people after the one in Syria and is receiving far less international attention and resources. At the same time, there is a large and growing population of Haitians that have migrated to South America, and large numbers are moving from the Northern Triangle of Central America into Mexico and towards the United States, and from Nicaragua into Costa Rica. The new database presented and described in this report compiles data on the number of residence permits granted in fifteen countries of the region by type of permit and nationality of the migrant over a five-year period from 2015-2019. This time frame clearly shows the ongoing transformation of the region from primarily one of emigration to a much more complex scenario of growing intra-regional movements, with all the challenges of countries that send migrants, receive them, and host them in transit. This evolution presents challenges to all countries, and this new database is one measure to better understand these phenomena and help guide policy and investments in the region.