El Salvador is among those countries whose immigration flows increased strongly in recent years. Between 2010 and 2013, the flow of permanent immigrants has increased by a factor of almost five. At the same time, it is also among one of the countries with the smallest foreign-born populations relative to its total population. A majority of the foreign-born are from neighbouring countries, and they represent less than one percentage point of the total population.
Salvadoran emigration to OECD member countries and Latin America experienced a slight decrease, of 12%, between 2009 and 2012. Salvadorans go primarily to the United States (77% in 2012). Though the number remains low, Italy has received a growing number of Salvadorans since 2009, with an increase of 50% in 2013 relative to 2009.
There has been a decrease of almost 4 percentage points in the unemployment rate of Salvadorian men abroad from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013, while for women the decline was 1.7 points. The improved economic situation in the United States, where most Salvadorian expatriates live, is responsible for these improved figures.
The number of asylum seekers in El Salvador has remained extremely low, with only 7 requests in 2013, almost all of them from Honduras. By contrast, in the same year, 11,281 Salvadorans requested asylum in different countries of the same hemisphere, mainly in the United States, followed by Mexico, Costa Rica and Canada.
In 2013, El Salvador received nearly 4 billion dollars in remittances, reflecting an increase of 0.7% in comparison to the previous year. Remittances represent more than 17% of the Gross Domestic Product. El Salvador is fourth among countries receiving remittances in Latin America.
Return migration has increased in the country in recent years. Between 2012 and 2013, 64,886 Salvadorans were repatriated by air and land, mainly from the United States and Mexico due to stronger expulsion regulations. In 2013, the number of repatriated individuals increased by some 15.6%, and by 2014, the increase was 37%.
El Salvador has implemented programs to assist in returnees’ reintegration into working life in the country as well as for medical, psychological and educational support. These programs include training and workshops in different areas such as cosmetology, styling and computing, among others.
March 2011 saw passage of the Special Law for the Protection and Development of Salvadoran Migrants and Their Families. The law created the National Council for the Protection and Development of Migrants and Their Families (known as CONMIGRANTES). The first meeting of CONMIGRANTES was held in 2012, with the participation of representatives of different State institutions, civil society organizations, universities, micro and small enterprises, and Salvadoran associations abroad. The Council is responsible for the development of the “Strategic Plan for the Protection and Development of the Migrant Individual and Family” which provides legal and financial support in the repatriation process, fosters ties between communities of origin and their diasporas to enhance their contribution to the communities’ development.
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||8.8452878739144||2.3976054634715||0.63518337902948||1.1040218886534||3.2455246512672||7|
|Refugees resident in the country||6.1112898037954||6.0739338407945||7.1458130140817||6.9395661572499||6.5676507039804||44|
|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)||0.83988359298786||1.6||1.2||1||1.1||7515|
|Labour market outcomes of emigrants in Europe and the United States||Percentages|