Remittance Behavior of West Africans (Western Europe)
Our research team determined that West Africans employed in Western Europe remit roughly $6.758 billion home annually. Additionally, roughly 849,000 West Africans live in Western Europe.
NUMBER OF WEST AFRICANS EMPLOYED IN WESTERN EUROPE
First, we familiarized ourselves with the countries located in West Africa and Western Europe. According to World Atlas, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, and United Kingdom are countries of Western Europe, while Britannica presents West African countries to include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. We then combed through media sites and research journals such as The Guardian, The Gallup, The Brookings and more for preexisting data regarding the number of West Africans employed in Western Europe who remit money home. We soon recognized through the strategy that the information will most likely not appear precompiled since it lacks attention in the media. For example, we found irrelevant data points like the rise in desire for West Africans to migrate to Western Europe, immigrants’ unemployment rates and more that were not useful in directly answering the question.
Next, to determine the number of West Africans living and earning in Western Europe, we searched through government databases, specifically for the countries in these regions. For example, in attempting to find the number of Nigerians/ any other West African nation employed in the UK, we examined the Office for National Statistics UK or the STATBEL, the Belgian statistical office, for the number Nigerians or any other West African country employed in Belgium. This was a manual action to identify as many West Africans migrants as possible earning in the territory of Western Europe. Unfortunately, although these sources disclose, for some of the African countries, the number of those living in the European nations, they fail to reveal those earning. For example, approximately 102,000 Nigerians live in the United Kingdom, according to the Office for National Statistics UK; however, this database does not report the number of Nigerians earning in the country.
Finally, we combed through statistical databases engaged in maintaining immigration information, such as the Migration Policy, Trading Economics, OECD, International Organization for Migration (IOM), and more for details or metrics (i.e. the percentage of West Africans working in Western Europe) to extrapolate the number of West Africans living and earning in Western Europe. The OECD's most recent report, the "Atlas on Regional Integration in West Africa," records West African migration to developed countries, including the UK, France, and Belgium - countries of Western Europe. For example, there are about 288,000, 176,000, and 14,000 West Africans living in France, the UK, and Belgium respectively. According to the European Refugee Fund, there are nearly 35,000 West Africans in Ireland. However, these databases do not address the element of their employment or provide the percentage of those working that can be used to triangulate the number of West Africans earning in these countries.
ANNUAL REMITTANCE BY WEST AFRICANS EMPLOYED IN WESTERN EUROPE
To determine the total annual size of remittance by West Africans working in Western Europe, we utilized data compiled by the Pew Research Center, reflecting the most recent December 2018 update. The research organization provides an interactive map that displays remittance flows by country. Therefore, if we wanted to locate the total remittance sent home by Nigerians employed in Belgium annually, we will check the 'outgoing' button in the bottom of the map and select 'Belgium' for the outgoing country. To articulately present the information and determine the total size of remittance for these countries, we created a spreadsheet.
Approximately $177 million, $1.333 billion, $492 million, $15 million, $6 million, $267 million, and $4.468 billion was sent home by West Africans living and earning in Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands and United Kingdom respectively. Therefore, a total of $6.758 billion was sent home by West Africans employed in Western Europe.
West Africans currently living in North America
To provide the number of West Africans living in North America, we used the interactive map provided by the Migration Policy Institute, which shows where West Africa migrants have settled worldwide. To use the map, one selects a country from the dropdown menu to learn where emigrants from it settle, "bubbles will appear over top countries of destination, sized according to the estimated emigrant population in each country." We prepared a spreadsheet, the "Number of West Africans currently living in North America" to accurately present our data. According to the findings, most emigrants from West Africa live in the United States (748,000) and Canada (101,000). Today, about 849,000 West Africans live in North America.