Migration data in South America

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In the history of the South American nations, three major migration patterns have defined migration in the region: the first pattern corresponds to immigration from overseas; the second pattern relates to intraregional migration; and the third pattern refers to the emigration of South Americans to developed countries.

In recent years, intraregional migration has become a choice for millions of South Americans. Several agreements adopted under the regional integration processes contributed to enhance intraregional migration and to bring migrants access to social rights. 

Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected migration and human mobility in the region as countries have restricted international, transborder and internal movements to minimize the spread and impact of the pandemic.  In order to provide non-nationals with adequate protection during the crisis (and inherently, the population as a whole), some South American countries have made adjustments to administrative mechanisms to ensure non-nationals’ regular migratory status and access to social rights.    

In terms of migration data, key national and regional data sources, such as countries’ respective National Statistical Offices (INEs in Spanish) and the Continuous Reporting System on International Migration in the Americas (SICREMI, as it's known in Spanish), collect data and analyze trends. Recently, most countries in the region have invested in the improvement of migration management, which has laid a foundation for achieving better migration data.