Venezuelans in Colombia

individuals have migrated since 2018

%

Venezuelans as a proportion of the national population

%

want to stay

Data: R4V (Venezuela migration, 2023) and World Bank (host country population, 2022)

Colombia is the primary destination for Venezuelans abroad, partly due to its shared border with Venezuela. More than 2.5 million Venezuelans now reside in Colombia, and 96% plan to stay, the highest rate among the countries in the report.

A Development Opportunity found that participation of Venezuelans in the Colombian labor market is low compared to other countries but similar to hosts. Unemployment levels are high for both groups: 29% for the Colombians and 26% for Venezuelans. Although the difference disappears if it is a Venezuelan woman.

Venezuelans tend to migrate to Colombia in family groups and most arrive by public transport. The average household size is five for migrants and three for Colombians.

This migratory pattern explains some of the unique characteristics of the Venezuelan population in Colombia. It is the only country for which the employment rate of women is lower for migrants than for hosts. Additionally, only one in four Venezuelan migrants in Colombia transfer financial resources to their home country, the lowest remittance rate observed.

On average, Venezuelans have more schooling years. They have spent 12 years or more in school, while Colombians average ten years. Nonetheless, only 3% have validated their academic titlesthe lowest rate among the countries analyzed. The lack of information about the process, or missing documents were the main reasons for not certifying academic titles.

Education and healthcare remain a critical challenge for Venezuelans in Colombia. 64% of this population does not have any healthcare services, and 28% of school-aged children and youth do not attend an educational institution.

Colombia has adopted a progressive and internationally renowned migration framework, and provides ten-year temporary protection status to Venezuelans. A Development Opportunity recommends policies that promote socioeconomic integration, address xenophobia and invest in information campaigns to promote social inclusion. It also draws attention to the gaps in basic services, such as education and health, and the downgrading of Venezuelans’ skills in the labor market.

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