Eine Frau geht an einer Weltkarte, die aus Kinderporträts besteht, am Freitag (18.06.2010) im JuniorMuseum in Köln vorbei.

1.11.2008 | Von:
Sabina Stelzig


History of emigration

Since the 1990s emigration has been one of the most important social phenomena in Brazil – as it has throughout Latin America. [1]

Streams of emigrants took their leave of Brazil as a result of the economic developments of the 1980s. Until the onset of the economic recession the Brazilian people had remained true to their country even in times of economic and political difficulties. Only after the end of the military dictatorship in 1985 did the people´s dissatisfaction gradually begin to show in the form of emigration. The Sarney government (1985 to 1990) did not succeed in bringing the national debt and the highest rate of inflation Brazil had ever experienced under control. Not for political, but rather for economic reasons did many hundreds of thousand leave their country in this so-called "lost" decade. [2]

The ten most common destination countries of Brazilians abroad, 2000The ten most common destination countries of Brazilians abroad, 2000 Lizenz: cc by-nc-nd/2.0/de (bpb)
As a result of disappointment over the continued economic standstill and the corruption scandals undermining President Collor (1990 to 1992), the mid 1990s saw a second wave of emigration. In 1995 the number of Brazilians living legally in the USA, Japan, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany, Canada and other countries was estimated to be over a million; ten years later this figure had already more than doubled. [3] According to the latest estimates of the Brazilian foreign office, in 2007 98% of emigrants were living in four regions: North America (42 %), Europe (25 %), South America (20 %) and Asia (10 %). The remaining 2% were distributed throughout Central America, Africa, Oceania and the Middle East.

Of the South Americans who entered the USA between 1990 and 2000, 65.6% were Brazilians. [4] In 2006 an estimated 2.8 million Brazilians were living in the United States, many tens of thousands of them illegally. Tightening of the laws and border controls made what was at first mostly circular migration to the USA more difficult, whereupon the number of emigrants to Europe in the 1990s grew. For reasons of language and the descent of many emigrants, Portugal was selected as one of the most common destinations. [5] According to the Brazilian consulates, there were about 50,000 Brazilians living legally in Portugal in 2000, and several thousand living there as irregular migrants. Portugal is also used as a gateway to the EU and, among other things, as a transit route to Germany. According to Brazilian foreign ministry estimates, there were 60,000 Brazilians living in Germany in the year 2000 – more than were living in Portugal. [6] Seventy-five percent of Brazilian migrants registered in Germany are women, as Federal Statistical Office figures verify. [7]

In addition to North America and Europe, at the beginning of the 1980s Japan became the third major migration destination for Brazilians. Of these main destinations for emigrants, only Japan had recruited Brazilian workers. In response to the problems of the increasing number of Brazilians abroad, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, as foreign minister (1992-1993) under President Franco, made it a priority of his work to increase the number of consulates and embassies and extended their function to make them general places of information for Brazilians abroad. [8] Under the Lula administration the first steps have been taken towards an emigrant-friendly policy: the cost of remitting money is to be reduced and programmes to reintegrate returning migrants expanded. [9] To throw light on the situation of Brazilians living abroad the first international conference, "Brazilians in the World" took place in Rio in July 2008. [10] Definite state measures to combat the brain drain caused by the outflow of young workers have not yet been adopted.


Since the 1990s Latin America, including the Caribbean, has been the region with the highest emigration worldwide; labour migration has become a central economic factor for Latin America, see IADB (2004).
See Skidmore (1999).
See Sales and Salles (2002).
See Migration Policy Institute (2006): Characteristics of the South American Born in the United States. http://www.migrationinformation.org/USFocus/display.cfm?ID=400
See Fajnzylber, P. and López, H. (2007).
Figures of 24,142 Brazilians released by the Federal Statistical Office for the same year are significantly lower than this estimate. This is attributable to the different means of gathering statistics: The Federal Statistical Office count is based on the difference between Brazilians entering and leaving the country and the number of naturalisations in Germany, whereas the estimates of the Brazilian foreign ministry are based on reports from the consulates in Berlin, Frankfurt a.M. and Munich.
See Heiratsmigration nach Deutschland. Migration und Bevölkerung: http://www.migration-info.de/migration_
See Barros (1996).
See Silva (2006): Migrações, o Desafio Gobal. In: Instituto : Migrações e Direitos Humanos: www.migrante.org.br/textoseartigos.htm.
See "Brasileiros no Mundo" for current contributions and figures relating to the Brazilian emigrant debate: http://www.abe.mre.gov.br/mundo/america-do-sul/republica-federativa-do-brasil/subsecretaria-geral-das-comunidades-brasileiras-no-exterior/informacoes/i-seminario-sobre-as-comunidades-brasileiras-no-exterior


Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl: Aktuelle Themen

Ein Kurzdossier legt komplexe Zusammenhänge aus den Bereichen Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl sowie Integration auf einfache und klare Art und Weise dar. Es bietet einen fundierten Einstieg in eine bestimmte Thematik, in dem es den Hintergrund näher beleuchtet und verschiedene Standpunkte wissenschaftlich und kritisch abwägt. Darüber hinaus enthält es Hinweise auf weiterführende Literatur und Internet-Verweise. Dies eröffnet die Möglichkeit, sich eingehender mit der Thematik zu befassen. Unsere Kurzdossiers erscheinen bis zu 6-mal jährlich.

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