Historically, Cochabamba has been a destination for many Bolivians due to relatively improved economic opportunities and a more temperate climate. Bolivia's current President Evo Morales and ex-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada were both Senators representing Cochabamba, although they were born in Oruro and La Paz respectively and immigrated to Cochabamba at the start of their political careers.
After the road to the eastern city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra was completed in the 1950s, thousands of Cochabambinos migrated to the lowlands and permanently settled. Many Cochabambino migrants and their descendants now identify themselves as Cambas after absorbing the regional Bolivian culture of the eastern lowlands, but maintain familiar ties with relatives that remained in Cochabamba.
A large population of Bolivian and Bolivian-descended residents is in the Greater Washington, D.C.-Baltimore–Northern Virginia area of United States (2005 US Census estimates 27,452 +/- 8,883 Bolivians for DC, Virginia, and Maryland); the highest concentration is in Arlington County, Virginia. These figures may represent a census undercount of undocumented Bolivian alien residents. These combined communities have become the centre for recent and established Bolivian immigrants, most of whom are from the department and city of Cochabamba, hence, locally regarded as Little Cochabamba or Arlibamba. Little Cochabamba contains Bolivian-cuisine restaurants and the Escuela Bolivia; a school-within-a-school programme for children and adults.
After to the mid-1990s, many low-income Cochabambinos emigrated to Bergamo, Italy in search of work. Most of the 16,400 (2005 estimate) Bolivians in Bergamo are from Cochabamba, which includes both legal and work visa-expired immigrants. This migration is due to the strong relationship between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bergamo and the Archdiocese of Cochabamba.