Since 2010, the number of immigrants to Barbados has increased considerably; there were four times more permanent immigrants in 2013 than in 2010, while the number of temporary immigrants doubled.
In 2013, the foreign-born population represented 11.3 percent of the total population, with the number of foreign-born persons having increased by almost 5 percent since 2010. Vincentians and Saint Lucians account for almost 30 percent of the foreign-born population residing in Barbados.
Migration outflows to OECD countries and to Latin American countries have decreased slightly since 2009. In 2013, the United States was the most important destination country for Barbadians, with more than half of emigration occurring to that country, closely followed by Canada with 44 percent. However, during the 2009-2012 period, migration to these two countries declined.
Both the participation rate and the employment rate of Barbadians in Europe and the United States have declined significantly from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013, the former by 8 percentage points, the latter by more than 4. The situation of men has deteriorated seriously (falls of 14 and 11 percentage points in the participation and employment rates, respectively), while the evolution of the labor market situation of women has been mixed, with the participation rate declining somewhat but the employment rate actually increasing over the same period.
According to the World Bank, personal remittances inflows from 2009 to 2010 have deteriorated. In 2009, Barbados received 114 million US dollars in remittances while in 2010 the amount was 82 million US dollars. Remittances outflows decreased as well, albeit at a slower pace. For the same period, the amount was 10 percent smaller in 2011 in comparison to 2009.
The Constitution of Barbados, the Immigration Act (1976) and the Barbados Citizenship Act (1966) continue to be the principal legal framework for immigration to Barbados. There have been no major changes in the national legal framework in recent years.
In 2014, Barbados signed a visa waiver agreement with El Salvador. Salvadorian citizens, officials and diplomatic personnel can come to Barbados without a visa and without the pre-approval process that was part of the visa application. The agreement on visa waiver aims to promote commercial exchanges, tourism and investment between the two countries.
During the same year, Barbados signed a Mutual Visa Abolition Agreement with China. The agreement exempts visa requirements for entry or transit, facilitating the exchange of visits between the two countries.
Recent trends in migrant’s flows and stocks and in labor market outcomes of emigrants
|Migration inflows (foreign nationals)||Persons||Per 1000 inhabitants||Percent change|
|Permanent migration inflows (foreign nationals) by type||Persons||% distribution|
|Temporary migration inflows (foreign nationals) by type||Persons||% distribution|
|Migration outflows (nationals)||Persons||% of total||% change|
|From unstandardised destination country data||2009||2010||2011||2012||2012||2012/2009|
|Asylum seekers and refugees||Per million inhabitants||Number of persons|
|Inflows of asylum seekers||0||0||0||7.0263205969562||1.756580149239||2|
|Refugees resident in the country||0||0||0||3.5131602984781||1||1|
|Components of population growth||Per 1000 inhabitants|
|Foreign-born population||Percentage of the total population||Persons||% change|
|Remittances||Millions of dollars||% of GDP||% change|
|Macroeconomic indicators||Annual growth in %||Average annual growth||Level|
|GDP/per capita ((PPP ) in constant 2011 international dollars)||-0.24351048295047||0.25507019587945||-0.5||na||-0.2||15299|
|Labour market outcomes of emigrants in Europe and the United States||Percentages|
 Source: World Bank staff calculation based on data from IMF Balance of Payments Statistics. There is no updated data available on the personal remittances received during the 2011-2014 period.