The transnational activities of migrants have a notable development impact on the host and home countries
We look at the transnational activities of Brazilians in Massachusetts. To examine them in the broader context, we compare the findings to data from surveys of Latin American migrants in the US by Orozco (2005, 2008)
Summary of Findings: While there are similarities between Brazilians and other migrants, there are some differences -
Brazilians have lower levels of citizenship,
The amount of money they remit home is much higher,
While they show lower levels of overall transnational engagement, they show greater engagement in terms of communicating with their homeland (via phone, email, etc)
According to our estimates, the number of Brazilians living in the U.S. today may be between 600,000 and 700,000
Brazilians living abroad sent $7.2 billion back home in 2008 according to estimates by the Inter-American Development Bank, making Brazil the second largest recipient of remittances in Latin America after Mexico
According to our estimates, remittances from the U.S. to Brazil were about $3.5 billion in 2007
Remittances play an important role in the economies of Brazilian migrant-sending states, where 1.3 million Brazilians receive remittances from relatives living abroad (Levy 2006)
Brazilian remitters display characteristics that differentiate them from other migrant groups
Compared to other Latin American migrants (data from surveys by Orozco, 2005), Brazilians are older, more educated and have the highest proportion of people with incomes over US$35,000, and have the lowest proportion of US citizenship
Average Age 35.6 years Gender 66% male, 35% female Household Size 3 to 4 people Income 38% earn over $35,000/year Education Level 33% high school, 25% some college Home Ownership 10.8% Business Owners 12.4% U.S. Citizenship 3.2% are citizens Average Years in the U.S. 6 years
83.7% of Brazilians never traveled home since migrating to the US, while only 42.3% of other Latin Americans have never traveled home
This could be because Brazilians in the US have lower levels of citizenship…
Frequency of Travel Home Brazilians (%) LAC (%) Three or more times a year 0.5 2.0 Twice a year 3.3 3.3 Once a year 7.9 18.3 Once every 2 years 1.9 9.3 Once every 3 years 0.9 5.3 Less than once every 3 years 1.9 19.5 Never travelled 83.7 42.3
Le Franc, Elise and Andrew Downes. 2001. “Measuring Human Development in Countries with Invisible Economies: Challenges Posed by the Informal and Remittance Sectors in Jamaica.” Social and Economic Studies 50(1): 169‐98.
Levy, Patrick. 2006. “Brazil: Financial Remittances Services in Brazil,” U.S. Department of Commerce.
Orozco, Manuel. 2005. “Migration, Money and Markets: The New Realities of Central America in Beyond Small Change – Making Immigrant Remittances Count.” Edited by Donald F. Terry and Steven R. Wilson. Inter‐American Development Bank.
Orozco, Manuel. 2005. “Transnational Engagement, Remittances and Their Relationship to Development in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University.
Orozco, Manuel. 2008. “Tasting Identity: Trends in Migrant Demand for Home-Country Goods.” Produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development, Washington, DC.