Migration Profile on Cape Verde Shows Emigration Tradition Less Popular

A deeply rooted tradition of emigration to achieve personal and
social success is appearing to be less marked in Cape Verde,
according to IOM's latest migration profile on this West African

The profile shows that despite major gaps and weaknesses in data
collection, there has been a steady decrease in emigration from
Cape Verde since the 1970s.

Currently, only estimates exist on the Cape Verdean Diaspora
with figures ranging between just under 200,000 to just over
518,000. The United States and Portugal are among the most popular
destination countries.

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title="">Migração em Cabo Verde: Perfil Nacional

Despite these relatively small figures, Cape Verde ranks among
the countries with the highest emigration rates relative to the
size of its population – 25 per cent. Although more than
three quarters of all its emigrants are low or medium skilled, Cape
Verde does lose a large percentage of its highly skilled –
nearly 70 per cent go abroad to Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Nevertheless, the Cape Verdean Diaspora remitted 10.4 billion
escudos (USD 124 million) in 2008.

The emigration drop has, however, coincided with an increase in
immigration in recent decades. Cape Verde's immigrant population
rose by 20 per cent between 1991 and 2005.

The IOM migration profile reveals that 82 per cent of all
immigrants come from other Portuguese-speaking African countries
and from Portugal. China, Nigeria and Senegal also appear among the
list of main countries of origin.

Indicators point to a connection between economic development
and immigration, mainly due to the role immigrant labour plays in
the tourism and construction sectors as well as in retail and
wholesale business, whether formally or informally.

Cape Verde is also an attractive destination for qualified
workers with specialists in intellectual and scientific professions
representing the second largest category of migrant labour.

Looking ahead, the profile, funded by the European Union,
Switzerland and Belgium, highlights that a reduced capacity of the
labour market to absorb workers, unemployment that mainly affects
the youth, a predicted population increase of 30 per cent by 2020
and an increase in life expectancy can again push more Cape
Verdeans to migrate.

The migration profile for Cape Verde is available in Portuguese
at the IOM online bookstore: href=
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For further information, please contact:

Dario Muhamudo

IOM Praia

Tel: +238 260 96 93

E-mail: "">

Frank Laczko

IOM Geneva

Tel: +41 22 717 94 16

E-mail: "">

Rudolf Anich

Tel: 41 22 717 9366

E-mail: "">