The Basque Diaspora is the name given to describe the
Basque people who left their traditional homeland for
different reasons. Nowadays, the main groups of The
Basque Diaspora live in
Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Mexico, Colombia and
Often, Diaspora Basque people are called “The
eighth province” by the natives to express their affection
Referring to the economic context, along the XIX century
the Basque economy changed absolutely. People left
agricultural lands and moved to the cities to work in
factories. The main reason was that iron was found in big
amounts and it was one of the best quality besides of
There were deep changes in political and social areas .
Two important conflicts occurred:
• In the 1898, Spain lose last colonies in America
(Cuba, Puerto Rico) and Filipinas, in the
• The second one was the Spanish civil war from 1936
to 1939. The fight was between two
sides, Republicans and Nationals. The National
leader was Francisco Franco, a military general who
imposed a long dictatorial period of 36 years.
• On the other hand, the population growth along XIX
century, was due to the medical advantages.
The Basque Diaspora
It´s possible to separate three different stages: From 1876 to the
Spanish Civil war, then since 1936 to 2000 and the last one up today.
• During that period of time, The Basque majority emigrated to
America: Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Mexico, Colombia
However, another big group emigrated to Europe:
France, Russia, United kingdom and Belgium. The first part was
massive, around five hundred and fifty thousand Basques left
their homeland. Although, many of them came back after
several years. They were called “Amerikanoak”.
1) Some of them were disagree with the political decisions of
the new military government, for example, the obligatory
2) America needed a lot of people to work the land. For
example, the consulate of Uruguay in Vitoria offered good
opportunities to them.
3) Gold fever in California.
4) An old law in Spain made the only owner of lands the first
son of each family. That caused that the youngest son didn´t
receive anything and they had to search different
alternatives, such as moving to emergent countries like
When Nationals won the Civil War, many Basques were sent
to the exile, because they had fought with the Republican
Most people moved to the regions near to the France frontier
with Basque Country. Other people, travelled to UK, Belgium
and Russia. The people who had family in America went there
and tried to find a job. At first, some people thought that they
would return soon, but finally, they stayed there for the rest
of their life.
Basques emigrants percentages
The Basques that installed in America
These days it´s also happening another type of Diaspora in
our country and in the whole state. However, reasons are
absolutely different. Mainly for economic reasons.
A lot of people (young people especially) is moving to
different countries to find a job and a better quality of life.
Nowadays, the countries who receive more emigrants are
USA, Germany, UK, Belgium, Australia and France.