E.g., 03/02/2024
E.g., 03/02/2024
Country Resource - Colombia

Colombia

CO
  • Population............................................................................49,336,454 (2023 est.)
  • Population growth rate ....................................................................0.54% (2023 est.)
  • Birth rate....................................................15.06 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)
  • Death rate..................................................7.84 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)
  • Net migration rate..............................-1.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)
  • Ethnic groups................................Mestizo and White 87.6%, Afro-Colombian (includes Mulatto, Raizal, and Palenquero) 6.8%, Amerindian 4.3%, unspecified 1.4% (2018 est.)

CIA World Factbook

ColombiaIDP BHeger UNHCR

Colombia has more internally displaced persons (IDPs) than any other country in the world, the result of a 52-year civil war. Beyond improving the lives of its 7.3 million IDPs, the country faces a number of crucial migration issues as it works to achieve stability in the wake of an historic peace accord signed in late 2016. This country profile examines historical trends and current and future migration challenges in Colombia.

Recent Activity

Migrantes en la aldea de Canaán Membrillo, en el Tapón del Darién, Panamá.

El paso por el Tapón del Darién ha transformado la migración en las Américas. Cada día, más de 1.000 personas cruzan lo que no hace mucho era un tramo de selva poco transitado entre Colombia y Panamá, la mayoría con la esperanza de llegar a Estados Unidos o Canadá. Es un viaje increíblemente arriesgado. Los gobiernos se han esforzado por responder al creciente movimiento, que se espera que supere los 500.000 cruces en 2023.

Migrants in the Darien Gap village of Canaan Membrillo, Panama.

Passage through the Darien Gap has transformed migration across the Americas. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken the incredibly perilous journey across the remote jungle between Colombia and Panama, risking exposure to hazardous terrain, criminal groups, and other dangers. As this article outlines, governments have struggled to respond to the growing movement, expected to top 500,000 crossings in 2023.

People carry a giant Colombian flag at a parade in Washington, DC.

Colombians comprise the largest group of South American immigrants in the United States. More than half live in Florida, New York, or New Jersey. Compared to the overall immigrant population, Colombians are disproportionately likely to be naturalized U.S. citizens and to have obtained a green card through family pathways.

Varias personas portan una bandera gigante de Colombia en un desfile en Washington, DC.

Cerca de 855,000 inmigrantes colombianos residían en los Estados Unidos, lo que representa alrededor del 2 por ciento de los 45.3 millones de inmigrantes estadounidenses en general y el grupo más numeroso procedente de Sudamérica. Casi uno de cada cuatro inmigrantes de Sudamérica en los Estados Unidos procedía de Colombia.

Venezuelan migrants at the Colombian border.

Political and economic crises, new free-movement arrangements, and other trends are transforming countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, a region once known primarily for its emigration. The number of immigrants living in the region has nearly doubled since 2010, an incredible change in a short period of time. This article makes sense of a profound transition underway in the Western Hemisphere.

Migrantes venezolanos en la frontera colombiana.

Los países de América Latina y el Caribe están siendo transformados por crisis políticas y económicas, nuevos acuerdos de libre circulación y otras tendencias. La cantidad de inmigrantes que viven en la región casi se ha duplicado desde 2010, un cambio increíble en un corto período de tiempo. Este artículo da sentido a una profunda transición en curso en el hemisferio occidental.

A couple celebrating carnival at home.

South Americans make up a relatively small share of all U.S. immigrants. But their numbers have been growing in recent years and flows are diversifying, particularly with new arrivals from Venezuela. This article offers key statistics on the South American immigrant population in the United States.

A Haitian man hugs his daughter in Peru.

The chaotic arrival of thousands of Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border in September 2021 was the culmination of a journey through the Americas that began for many a decade ago. This article examines how Brazil became a refuge for many after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, and how Haitians then moved on to Chile and other countries as conditions changed, and then onward again further north.

ColombianBoyinEcuador_USAIDFlickrMichelleSnow

Though Colombians displaced by a decades-long civil war found a welcome refuge in Ecuador, life has become more difficult for them in recent years, in part as a result of the influx of Venezuelans seeking safety. This article draws on surveys of migrants in Quito, comparing and contrasting the experiences of Colombians and Venezuelans, and assessing their perceptions of discrimination, victimization, trust in institutions, and hopes for the future.

ColombianBoyinEcuador_USAIDFlickrMichelleSnow

Aunque colombianos encontraron un refugio cálido en Ecuador después de ser desplazados de su país por una guerra civil que duro décadas, la vida se ha vuelto más difícil para ellos en los últimos años, en parte como resultado del flujo de venezolanos que buscan seguridad. Este artículo se basa en encuestas de migrantes en Quito, comparando y contrastando las experiencias de colombianos y venezolanos, y evaluando sus percepciones de discriminación, victimización y esperanzas para el futuro.

Pages

Cover image for Confronting Compassion Fatigue
Reports
January 2024

Large-scale displacement can trigger instability and feelings of threat in refugee host countries. But in certain cases, it can also uncover deep wells of solidarity that create space for generous policy responses. This report explores factors that can foster and erode public support for forced migrants, drawing examples from attitudes towards Syrians in Turkey, Venezuelans in Colombia, and Ukrainians in Europe.

Cover image for Expanding Protection Options?
Reports
January 2024

The massive and rapid displacement of Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians presented neighboring countries with an impossible task: providing legal status and assistance, even though their asylum systems lacked the capacity to handle such a large influx. This report examines the costs and benefits of the flexible approaches taken to providing status in these three cases, identifying lessons for future crises.

Cover image for A Winding Path to Integration...
Reports
October 2023

Venezuelan displacement has prompted countries across Latin America and the Caribbean to launch policies and programs to register, regularize, and support the integration of arriving Venezuelans. However, the extent to which regular status has helped Venezuelans find work has varied from country to country, as this report discusses.

Cover image for Un camino sinuoso hacia la integración...
Reports
October 2023

El desplazamiento de venezolanos ha llevado a países de toda América Latina y el Caribe a poner en marcha políticas y programas para registrar, regularizar y apoyar la integración de los venezolanos. Sin embargo, la medida en que la regularización ha ayudado a los venezolanos a encontrar trabajo ha variado de un país a otro, como se analiza en este informe.

Cover image for Betting on Legality
Reports
May 2023

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have pragmatically tapped a variety of policy tools to provide legal status to at least half and as many as two-thirds of the more than 6 million displaced Venezuelans in the region. This report explores the extent to which Venezuelans have been able to obtain legal status in the top 15 host countries, their access to labor markets and public services, and where gaps remain.

Apuesta por la regularidad migratoria
Reports
May 2023

Los países de América Latina y el Caribe han aprovechado, de manera pragmática, una variedad de herramientas políticas para otorgar estatus legal a al menos la mitad de los más de 6 millones de venezolanos desplazados en la región. Este informe explora hasta qué punto los venezolanos desplazados han podido obtener un estatus legal en los 15 principales países receptores, su acceso al mercado laboral y a servicios públicos, y dónde persisten brechas.

Report cover, From Fear to Solidarity
Reports
May 2022

Public opinion of refugees and asylum seekers is often portrayed as a binary, reflected in stories of them as “threats” or “benefits.” Yet in reality, people can hold a variety of competing beliefs and concerns about forced migrants and their impacts on society. This report explores these different narratives, the contexts in which they flourish, and the types of initiatives that have been used to try to boost solidarity and ease tensions.

Cover image for African Migration through the Americas: Drivers, Routes, and Policy Responses
Reports
October 2021

The number of African migrants traveling through South and Central America in hopes of reaching the U.S.-Mexico border, many seeking asylum, is small but increasing. This report examines the factors driving African migration through the Americas, common routes and challenges, and how transit countries are responding.

Cover image for Migración africana a través del continente americano
Reports
October 2021

La cantidad de migrantes africanos que viajan por América del Sur y Central con la esperanza de llegar a la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México para buscar asilo es pequeña, pero está aumentando. Este informe examina los factores que impulsan la migración africana a través de las Américas, las rutas y los desafíos comunes, y las respuestas de países de tránsito en América Latina.

cover image for How We Talk about Migration: The Link between Migration Narratives, Policy, and Power
Reports
October 2021

As migration levels rise, societies are facing competing narratives about immigration. Often, there is dissonance between top-down narratives from political leaders and bottom-up narratives spread through personal and media engagement. This report explores positive and negative narratives around migration in Colombia, Lebanon, Morocco, Sweden, and the United States to determine the contexts in which some stick while others fail.

Pages

coverthumb_venezuelan profile eng
Fact Sheets
August 2020

As Latin American and Caribbean countries face a dual challenge—managing large-scale Venezuelan arrivals alongside the COVID-19 pandemic—reliable data on the characteristics of newcomers are essential to policymaking. This MPI-IOM fact sheet offers a profile of refugees and migrants in 11 countries in the region, including their demographics, labor market participation, remittance sending, access to health care, trip details, and intention to return to Venezuela.

coverthumb_venezuelan profile sp
Fact Sheets
August 2020

Los países de América Latina y del Caribe se están enfrentando a un desafío doble. Por un lado, deben manejar un flujo masivo de venezolanos entrando a sus países, mientras que, al mismo tiempo, deben enfocar sus esfuerzos en controlar el virus del COVID-19. Esta ficha técnica presenta un perfil regional de los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos que viajaron a través de 11 países.

Cover RAD FullSet
Fact Sheets
July 2014

MPI has produced profiles of 15 diaspora communities in the United States, gathering in one place key demographic data and analysis on diasporas from Bangladesh, Colombia, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The profiles examine population size, educational attainment, household income, employment patterns, geographic distribution, and remittance volume.

coverthumb_crime migration
Policy Briefs
September 2020

More than 4 million Venezuelans have moved to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, raising concerns about how these arrivals are affecting receiving communities. Some politicians and pundits have asserted that migration is leading to an increase in crime—a claim this issue brief finds misplaced based on examination of official data from Chile, Colombia, and Peru.

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Policy Briefs
September 2020

Más de 4 millones de venezolanos han migrado a otros países de América Latina y el Caribe, lo que ha generado preocupación sobre cómo estas llegadas están afectando a las comunidades receptoras. Algunos políticos y expertos han afirmado que la migración está provocando un incremento en la delincuencia, un argumento que este informe examina a través de un análisis detallado de los datos de Chile, Colombia y Perú.

Coverthumb VenezuelansLegalPathwaysBrief English
Policy Briefs
January 2019

Faced with the arrival of more than 3 million Venezuelans fleeing economic collapse and political upheaval, Latin American countries have responded with creativity and pragmatism. But as the migration spurred by the crisis stretches on, there is a need to look beyond facilitating legal entry and granting temporary status to plan for the long term. This brief explores the policy response thus far and challenges ahead.

Coverthumb VenezuelansLegalPathwaysBrief Spanish
Policy Briefs
January 2019

Enfrentados con la llegada de más de 3 millones de venezolanos huyendo de una economía colapsada y conflictos políticos, los países latinoamericanos han respondido con creatividad y pragmatismo. Pero, a medida que la crisis venezolana y la migración que ha impulsado se extienden, es necesario examinar más allá de la facilitación de la entrada legal y la otorgación del estatus temporal para planificar a largo plazo.