An estimated 700.000 Uruguayans are overseas residents according to a report from the Uruguayan Foreign Affairs ministry based on the recompilation of data from communities in 32 countries and 28 cities.
"It's the first picture or profile elaborated on the Uruguayan Diaspora", says a report from Desk 20 of the Uruguayan Foreign Affairs ministry which deals with Uruguayans overseas. The report shows that 501.806 Uruguayans reside overseas, confirmed by data from the countries involved. However "the total could be somewhere between 550.000 and 600.000, born in Uruguay", which could climb to 700.000 if we add the children of expatriates" indicates the report. If this is correct it means that 21.1% of the current Uruguayan population lives outside the country or make up the "peregrine motherland". A third of that number lives in Argentina and reaches 50% if other Mercosur country members are included, mainly Venezuela. The other half is distributed between United States, Spain and Oceania. A third of these expatriates live in North America (US, Canada and Mexico) while a fifth in Spain. Australia and New Zealand have also a significant number of Uruguayan residents. "Australia has the oldest, most solidarity inspired and most distant colony of Uruguayans", which is estimated in an original 15.000 plus 40.000 Uruguayan-Australians if children and grand children are included, indicated the Desk 20 report. The colony in New Zealand is relatively small and the most recent: possibly 800, mostly young aged between 25 and 40, with children under 12 and who began migrating in 2001. They work mostly in the camp but also in Auckland. The Foreign Affairs ministry Desk 20 has registered 41 Consultant Councils and 127 Uruguayan residents associations. This does not include the Uruguayan political parties representatives overseas. Precisely in October 2004, the ruling coalition party Broad Front organized Uruguayans in Argentina facilitating them fares and a paid absence to come to Uruguay to vote. It is believed that 22.000 of those votes were decisive for the catch all coalition victory. Under Uruguayan electoral law there is no mail vote and overseas residents must come to their home circumscriptions to vote.