Although Colombia has only become a major sender and recipient of international migrants relatively recently, migration and remittances have become important issues for policymakers. According to various sources, around 8 per cent of Colombians live abroad, primarily in the United States, Spain and Venezuela. Meanwhile, remittances currently constitute 3 per cent of Colombia’s GDP (as of 2008), up from just 1 per cent a decade before.
These trends have generated an increasing interest in the causes and consequences of international migration in Colombia, despite a lack of comprehensive information about the characteristics of migrants and their patterns of movement. This report therefore aims to fill some of the gaps in the evidence base by providing the first dataset on migration and development in Colombia, and by using robust econometric methodologies to assess a range of economic and social impacts that migration appears to be having on individuals and households left behind. It then interprets these findings to draw out some key recommendations for policymakers.