Although Cape Verde has a great emigration tradition, immigration to Cape Verde has increased in recent decades. The latest data indicate that the immigrant population has risen by around 20 per cent from 8,931 in 1991 to reach 12,305 in 2010. The majority of immigrants in Cape Verde come from the Portuguese-speaking African Countries and from Portugal.
Regarding the socio-economic context of migration, various indicators show a connection between economic development and immigration, due mainly to immigrant labour which is contributing to the tourism sector, with a particular focus on the construction sector. The same is also observed in the formal and informal retail and wholesale sectors, where there is a strong presence of immigrants from China and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Countries.
As far as the political framework is concerned, an Interministerial Commission was created to establish a policy on immigration. Although a Ministry of Emigrated Communities (MCE) has been established for addressing emigration, a coordination mechanism is lacking between the different initiatives and institutions that deal with migration-related issues.