Mapping and Engaging Diaspora Communities in the EU and US

Map and compass

Flickr/Дуэт постановщиков из DewFramevia [CC BY 2.0]


Given the ease of modern travel, communication and networking, diasporas are viewed by some as having great potential for building relationships and ties between their countries of origin and receiving countries. Policymakers increasingly see possibilities in engagement with diaspora communities for stimulating engagement, improving governance and rule of law, and fostering development in third world countries.


The European Commission commissioned RAND Europe, in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Labor, to provide an overview of diaspora communities settled in Europe and the United States. The project analysed existing population data sets, with an emphasis on demographic and socioeconomic profiles, provided a targeted literature review and surveyed diaspora organisations. The research drew on findings to deliver concrete recommendations for EU and US engagement with diaspora groups.

Key Findings

  • In comparison with their countries of origin, diaspora groups on the whole achieve better outcomes on a range of socioeconomic indicators.
  • The comparison with receiving countries offers a more complex picture.
  • Diasporas are increasingly seen as important partners for both sending and receiving country governments’ strategies aimed at political (and in some cases, security), economic, and cultural outcomes.
  • We found a consistent pattern between measured levels of engagement between diaspora organisations and their partners and a measured level of their satisfaction with those partners.
  • Proactive communication is desired from partners to diaspora organizations.
  • Concrete ways to engage with individual diaspora groups need to take into account their characteristics, tailored to specific contexts.


Project Team

  • Jirka Taylor
  • Jennifer Rubin
  • Chris Giacomantonio
  • Flavia Tsang
  • Kristy Kruithof
  • Mafalda Pardal
  • Alex Hull
  • Tess Hellgren

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