March 18, 2016
With the civil catastrophes rolling out and international barriers tearing down, international remittances are being at an outstanding scale. The World Bank shares data on migration and remittances each year and the numbers for 2015 were quite impressive. The number of international migrants in 2015 was around 250 million, which an all-time high.
About 250 million international migrants have sent close to $600 billion to their families in their home countries. More than 70% of that sum went to the developing world. As reported, India was the largest remittance receiving country out of the top ten, with an estimated $72 billion in 2015, followed by China ($64 billion) and the Philippines ($30 billion). The next top recipients are Mexico ($25.7 billion), France ($24.6 billion), Nigeria ($20.8 billion), Egypt ($20.4 billion), Pakistan ($20.1 billion), Germany ($17.5 billion) and Bangladesh ($15.8 billion).
As Dilip Ratha, co-author of the report from the World Bank has shared, At more than three times the size of development aid, international migrants’ remittances provide a lifeline for millions of households in developing countries. In addition, migrants hold more than $500 billion in annual savings. Together, remittances and migrant savings offer a substantial source of financing for development projects that can improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries.
International remittances by region
Logically, high-income countries are the main source of remittances. If we were to look at the regional breakdown, international migrants from the East Asia and Pacific region have received $129 billion in 2015 with almost $64 billion sent to China, almost $30 billion to Philippines, $12.3 billion to Vietnam, $10.5 billion to Indonesia, $5.7 billion to Thailand, $3.5 billion to Myanmar, $1.7 billion to Malaysia, $0.9 billion to Cambodia, $0.2 billion to Mongolia and Fiji each.
A little more than $36 billion were sent to Europe and Central Asia in 2015 with the most funds going to Ukraine ($6.2 billion), Serbia ($3.6 billion), Romania ($3.2 billion), Tajikistan ($3.0 billion), Uzbekistan ($2.3 billion), Bosnia and Herzegovina ($2 billion), Moldova ($1.8 billion), Bulgaria ($1.8 billion), the Kyrgyz Republic ($1.7 billion) and Armenia ($1.7 billion).
About $123 billion were sent to South Asia, which hosts 12.4 million migrants. Among the top receivers are India ($72.2 billion), Pakistan ($20.1 billion), Bangladesh ($15.8 billion), Sri Lanka ($7.2 billion) and Nepal ($6.6 billion).
The Latin America and the Caribbean region witnessed $67 billion in remittance inflow.
Among the top receiving countries in the region are Mexico ($25.7 billion), Guatemala ($6.4 billion), the Dominican Republic ($5.0 billion), Colombia ($4.5 billion), EI Salvador ($4.4 billion), Honduras ($3.8 billion), Brazil ($2.8 billion), Peru ($2.7 billion), Ecuador ($2.4 billion) and Jamaica ($2.3 billion).
The Middle East and North Africa region totaled 23.9 million. Remittances to the region amounted to $52 billion in 2015.
International migrants sent the most funds to Egypt ($20.4 billion), Lebanon ($7.5 billion), Morocco ($6. 7 billion), Jordan ($3.8 billion), Yemen ($3.4 billion), Tunisia ($2.3 billion), the West Bank and Gaza ($2.3 billion), Algeria ($2.0 billion), Syria ($1.6 billion) and Iran ($I.3 billion).
Migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa totaled 23.2 million and received around $35 billion in 2015. The most funds were sent to Nigeria ($20.8 billion), Ghana ($2.0 billion), Senegal ($1.6 billion), Kenya ($1.6 billion), South Africa ($1 billion), Uganda ($0.9 billion), Mali ($0.9 billion), Ethiopia ($0.6 billion), Liberia ($0.5 billion) and Sudan ($0.5 billion).