Morocco: Migration Profile
Hein de Haas
Since the 1960s, Morocco has evolved into one of the prime source countries of labour migrants to Europe. Increasing immigration restrictions in Europe did little to stop migration, and have led instead to the increasingly irregular character of migration and to the exploration of new destinations beyond the traditional ones of France and the Benelux countries. Since 1990, low-skilled Moroccan emigrants have increasingly headed to Italy and Spain, while the higher-skilled increasingly migrate to the US and Canada. Over three million people of Moroccan descent (out of a total population of over 31 million) are currently believed to be living abroad. Receiving an estimated US$ 5.6 billion in remittances (money transfers from migrants abroad) in 2006, Morocco was the largest remittance receiver in Africa.