Chapter 14. Emigration and Remittances in the Caribbean


Outward migration has been an important phenomenon for countries in the Caribbean, where emigrants account for more than 20 percent of the region’s population, compared with about 2 percent, on average, for emerging market and developing economies and 5 percent for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) overall. Caribbean emigrants typically emerge from the younger and more productive segment of the population—an average emigrant is between 20 and 25 years old with a higher education level. Emigrants remit substantial funds, averaging about 7 percent of the region’s GDP, to support family members back home. Remittances are now the most important external flow for the region, dwarfing foreign direct investment and official aid (Figure 14.1).