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Latin America: migration flows to the United States

Migration A–Z

L

  1. Lourdes Gouveia

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm343

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Gouveia, L. 2013. Latin America: migration flows to the United States. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

For much of its history, Latin America was a region of significant in-migration. The number of Spanish and Portuguese people who settled in the region during the first century of colonization was rather unimpressive (less than 350,000 between 1500 and 1600) (Munck 2003). In contrast, African slaves in Latin America numbered in the millions by the end of the colonial era and were nearly 20 times the number brought to the United States (Gates 2011). Migration from Europe to Latin America dramatically increased after the 17th century and, most significantly, after the wars of independence in the late 1800s (Nugent 1996). Latin America emerged as a land of opportunity and open-door policies by the dawn of the 20th century.

Keywords:

  • Central America;
  • South America;
  • American borderlands;
  • immigration;
  • poverty;
  • employment and unemployment;
  • cultural diversity