The numbers are very imprecise, but it is estimated that between 3 million and 4 million Brazilians, about 2% out of a population of 187 million, have emigrated to other countries. About 70% ot these emigrants live in the United States, Paraguay and Japan.
The information was given yesterday, September 6, by Tânia Cooper Patriota, the representative in Brazil of the UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, while presenting the latest UN report on the world population.
The numbers on the Brazilian situation are not part of the UN document though. They were calculated by the Department of Brazilian Communities Overseas, an arm of Brazil’s Foreign Ministry.
Information from other sources show that the US gets about half of all Brazilians who emigrate or up to 2 million. Most of them are in the country illegally after having entered the United States with the help of Mexican coyotes or using tourist or student visas and overstaying after the visa expires.
The largest concentrations of Brazilians in the country are in the Boston and Miami areas followed by the New York – New Jersey region. The West Coast (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego), Houston and Washington, DC also get their fair share of Brazilians.
Outside the US there are 500,000 Brazilians in Paraguay, 300,000 in Japan, 130 thousand in Italy, 100 thousand in England, 85 thousand in Portugal and 60 thousand in Germany.
Patriota, citing data from the Interamerican Development Bank (BID), also informed that Brazil was the Latin American country that most benefited from money sent back home by emigrants in 2004. That year, Brazilians living overseas sent US$ 5.6 billion to Brazil. US$ 2.2 billion of this amount came from Japan and US$ 1.9 billion from the United States.
According to the UNFPA, migrants all over the world sent about US$ 232 billion to their home country. Most of this money, US$ 167 billion, went to developing countries. They represent the second largest source of foreign resources for developing nations, losing only to direct foreign investment.
The number of migrants in the world has grown to 191 million people, almost half of them (94.5 million) women. The UNFPA report reveals that last year the Caribbean and Latin America received almost US$ 45 billion from their citizens overseas. Thanks to these remittances 2.5 million people raised above the poverty line in 2002 alone.