Dec 29, 2014
The European Commission commissioned RAND Europe and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) to conduct a study mapping diasporas in the European Union and the United States. This aimed to provide an overview of diasporas present in Europe and the US, and to deliver concrete recommendations for engaging with diasporas as a bridge to their countries of origin, especially where improvement is sought in relations with those countries. Our analysis revealed several noteworthy patterns which may help policymakers better understand the characteristics, priorities and concerns of relevant diasporas. In comparison with their countries of origin, diaspora groups on the whole achieve better outcomes on a range of socioeconomic indicators. Diaspora groups generally show higher rates of high educational attainment, labour force participation in their receiving countries, and, unsurprisingly, tend to have a higher share of working-age population compared with their counterparts in countries of origin. The comparison with receiving countries offers a more complex picture. Diaspora groups have a higher share of working-age population than the populations in the countries where they settled, but are generally lagging behind with respect to labour force and education outcomes. The size of this gap is much larger for labour force participation rates than for educational outcomes. Through synthesis of our quantitative mapping and analysis of engagement strategies and diaspora survey results, we provided a set of eight recommendations for actors seeking to engage with diaspora groups.