Facts and Figures
Population (2020)
556 thousand
Net Migration Rate (2021)
-2.2 migrants/ 1,000 population
Remittances (2021)
USD 312.1 million
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants (2020)

The recent graduation of Cabo Verde from a lower- to a middle-income country has highlighted challenges to a country without any significant natural resources. Cabo Verde is highly dependent on tourism and the human, financial and other resources and capacities of its diaspora, through the mobilization of its resources both in terms of professional competencies and remittances.

For years, Cabo Verde has been a country of emigration. The number of Cabo Verdeans living abroad today is estimated to be double the number of domestic residents (700,000 Cabo Verdeans live abroad, mainly in the United States (260,000) and Europe (including 100,000 people in Portugal).

The situation has changed recently with an increasing number of immigrants arriving in Cabo Verde, a challenge that the Government of Cabo Verde faces and is currently addressing. Recently, members of the diaspora returning to Cabo Verde have become more involved in the development of their country. The status of the immigrant investor is one more tool that joins other initiatives taken by the Government to encourage the participation of Cabo Verdeans abroad in the development of their country.

The country is one of the pilots for the "Delivering as One UN" initiative as well as a "Joint Office", which are both part of the UN reform. Under the Special Partnership with the European Union, Cabo Verde has also signed one of the first Mobility Partnerships with the European Union (the other was signed between the EU and the Republic of Moldova).

Migration and development

The involvement of the Cabo Verdean diaspora in the development of the country is an area currently being explored by the Government of Cabo Verde. Given IOM's expertise in this area, as well as in the field of migrant reception and pre-departure training, support to the Government of Cabo Verde will continue through IOM's programmes which address specific needs as identified by the Government (Ministry of Education; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity; Ministry of Infrastructure, Transports and Sea; Institute of Employment and Professional Training).

    In Cabo Verde IOM is involved in the following projects:

    The "Migration House"

    • The "Migration House" of Cabo Verde programme includes migration data research and analysis to develop capacities of the government in addressing the main issues related to migration. Data analysis will be mainstreamed to inform policy dialogue and development to facilitate Cabo Verde's Government response to the challenges posed by the new migration trends on the islands. The "Migration House" of Cabo Verde is an IOM programme in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

    Strengthening the Capacity of Cabo Verde to Manage Labour and Return Migration within the Framework of the Mobility Partnership established with the European Union

    • This project aims to promote legal mobility between Cabo Verde and the EU by enhancing cooperation on migration and development issues while combating irregular migration. It will facilitate the matching between skills and available jobs/vacancies and provide relevant information on migration channels so as to promote the use of legal migration channels, through the upgrade of the Centre for Migrant Support in the Origin Country (CAMPO). It will also facilitate reintegration into Cabo Verde's labour market of Cabo Verdeans returning home from EU countries, and support these in making the best possible use of the skills and resources acquired through the migration experience for their own benefit and the development of Cabo Verde. This project is implemented by the Portuguese Institute for Development Assistance. IOM is a partner in the project, together with the Cabo Verde's Institute of Employment and Vocational Training, the Institute of Communities and the High Commissariat for Immigration and Intercultural Dialogue. The project is funded by the EU Mobility Partnership, and co-funded by the Portuguese and the Spanish Cooperation.

    The Dias De Cabo Verde Project

    • The project Dias De Cabo Verde – Diaspora for Development of Cabo Verde, where the Instituto das Comunidades is the main beneficiary and project manager and IOM is the implementing partner, aims to mobilize the human, social and professional resources of Cabo Verdeans living abroad, towards the capacity-building of key development sectors in Cabo Verde, such as health, education, infrastructure and tourism. It promotes and reinforces the ties between members of the diaspora and the public and private sectors both in Cabo Verde and Europe, and also contributes to the strengthening of transnational linkages of the Cabo Verdean diasporas in Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands. The project is funded by the European Commission and co-funded by the Portuguese Cooperation.


    Contact information

    International Organization for Migration (IOM)
    Casa das Nações Unidas,
    P.O. Box 104-A,
    Av. OUA,  Achada de Santo António,  
    Cidade da Praia - Rep. de Cabo Verde


    UN House Operator:
    +238.2 609 60 0

    Direct Line:
    +221.2 609 69 3