Infographic: Diasporas: Seeding Development

Diasporas: Seeding Impact Infographic. See below for full text


USAID partners with diasporas  to grow development impact

  • WHAT IS A DIASPORA: Diaspora is a term of self-identification used by a community of people who live outside a shared country of origin, ancestry, or affinity, but maintain active connections with it.
  • The United States has the largest number of global diaspora members of any country in the world.
    • More than 62 million Americans – one fifth of the country – are first or second-generation diaspora.
  • WHY DIASPORAS MATTER: With roots around the world, diasporans are uniquely positioned to amplify and sustain global growth.


  • First Responders: Diasporans are often the first to volunteer in disaster-affected countries.
    • Each year, 200,000 American diasporans volunteer abroad. [1]
  • Financial frontrunners: Diaspora communities are at the forefront of investments in frontier and emerging markets.
    • Diasporans invested $440 billion in low-and middle-income countries in 2015 through remittances. [2]
  • Job creators: Diasporans use their unique insights to establish entrepreneurial enterprises, bringing jobs, competition, innovation, and skills to their communities.
    • More than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or by children of immigrants. [3]
  • Innovators and changemakers: Diasporans have long been among the most influential thought leaders and idea pioneers worldwide.
    • Foreign-born entrepreneurs started a quarter of U.S. technology startups over the past six years. [4]
  • Knowledge networks: Diaspora organizations  are reversing “brain drain” into a “brain gain” through expanded networks that transfer skills and knowledge between countries of affinity or origin.


Grow investments: USAID partners to design platforms that multiply diaspora philanthropic giving and financial investment.

-Grow networks: USAID creates opportunities for mentorship, volunteerism, and collaboration that leverage diaspora skills and expertise for development.

Learn more about how USAID partners with diasporas at


[1] Terrazas, A. (2010). Connected Through Service: Diaspora Volunteers and Global Development. Diaspora & Development Policy Project, 2-2. Retrieved April 06, 2016, from

[2]Fairlie, R. W., Ph.D. (2012). Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners, and their Access to Financial Capital. SBA Office of Advocacy, 43-43. Retrieved April 04, 2015, from

[3] THE “NEW AMERICAN” FORTUNE 500. (2011). Partnership for the New American Economy, 2-2.

[4] Vivek Wadhwa, The Immigrant Exodus: Why America is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent, (Kaufman Foundation, 2012)  


Last updated: August 03, 2016

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