Migration in Jamaica A Country Profile 2018

Number of Pages: 
Electronic copy only

The recent Migration Profile for Jamaica shows that emigration continues to be greatly in excess of immigration. The overall trend of decreasing numbers of permanent emigrants to the three traditional and still major destinations –United States, United Kingdom and Canada – continued, but numbers trended downwards from around 29,000 in 2006 to less than 23,000 in 2015. The dominance of the United States as a permanent destination has continued, especially of young professionals and students.

Immigrants showed an increase in number of approximately 11,700 in the recent five years (2012–2016) over the previous five-year period. Foreign-born immigrants accounted for 72 per cent of the total. China as the main country of origin – and India in second place – continued since 2011 to 2017. The returning Jamaican nationals accounted for 28 per cent of the immigrants. This included voluntary returnees and forced returnees. The latter accounted for 20 per cent of the total immigrants in 2007–2016, exceeding the voluntary returnees that amounted to only 8 per cent of the total number of immigrants.
Temporary (guest) Workers Programmes have expanded from farm and hospitality work to include low-skilled employment in Canada since 2014. The overall numbers of persons on these programmes has increased over the past decade.

An estimated number of some 1.3 million Jamaican-born persons are residing abroad, amounting to at least 36.1 per cent of the national population.
Remittance receipts from Jamaican emigrants have trended upwards over the years 2011–2016. The Bank of Jamaica estimated remittances at USD 2.292 million in 2016, which contributed 16.1 per cent to Jamaica’s GDP in 2015.

Table of contents: 
  • List of tables
  • List of figures
  • List of boxes
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Executive summary
  • Part A: Brief Historical Overview of Migration Trends for Jamaica
    • A.1. Historical overview
      • A.1.1. Population, labour force and migration
      • A.1.2. Jamaica’s post-colonial economy
    • A.2. Migration trends
      • A.2.1. Net population movement since the mid-twentieth century
      • A.2.2. Immigration trends from the 1970s
      • A.2.3. Emigration trends from the 1970s
      • A.2.4. Other migration trends
      • A.2.5. Trafficking in persons
  • Part B: Current migration patterns within the development context
    • B.1. Demographic, socioeconomic and development context
      • B.1.1. Demographic context
      • B.1.2. Socioeconomic and development context
    • B.2. Immigrants
      • B.2.1. Introduction to immigrants
      • B.2.2. Returned migrants
      • B.2.3. Labour immigrants
      • B.2.4. Refugees and asylum seekers
      • B.2.5. Foreign students (Postgraduate and PhD)
      • B.2.6. Naturalization of foreign-born persons
      • B.2.7. Irregular immigrants
      • B.2.8. Trafficking in persons
    • B.3. Emigrants
      • B.3.1. Introduction to emigrants
      • B.3.2. Jamaica’s main emigration corridors
      • B.3.3. Temporary labour migration
      • B.3.4. Students abroad (Postgraduate)
      • B.3.5. Refugees and asylum seekers from Jamaica abroad
    • B.4. Diaspora
    • B.5. Remittances from nationals living abroad
    • B.6. Migration trends and their consequences for socioeconomic and human development
      • B.6.1. Introduction – Framework for analysis
      • B.6.2. Socioeconomic and human development
      • B.6.3. Major trends in migration, 2007–2016
      • B.6.4. Consequences of the current migration trends
  • Part C: Migration policy framework
    • C.1. Overview of recent migration policy developments and key domestic legislation
      • C.1.1. Policy developments
      • C.1.2. Domestic legislation
    • C.2. Key institutional actors involved in migration management and diasporas
      • C.2.1. Government agencies
      • C.2.2. Non-governmental and private sector organizations
    • C.3. Analysis of policy coherence
      • C.3.1. Policy coherence in migration management
      • C.3.2. Inter-agency coordinating committees
      • C.3.3. Mainstreaming migration into development plans
      • C.3.4. Jamaica’s diaspora and development
      • C.3.5. Overall assessment of the migration policy context
      • C.3.6. Impact of recent reforms
  • Part D: Conclusions
    • D.1. Main findings on current migration trends
    • D.2. Possible future trends in migration
    • D.3. Recommendations regarding improving migration statistics
      • D.3.1. Identification and explanation of existing data gaps and problems encountered in data collection
    • D.4. Recommendations on future research on migration
    • D.5. Recommendations on migration management
  • Annexes
    • Annex I: Glossary of terms
    • Annex II: Summary of sources of data
    • Annex III: Statistical tables
    • Annex IV: References