Published on Monday, January 29, 2024

Global | Half of global remittances go to just 10 countries

Remittances are a hugely important international monetary flow. The World Bank estimates that they will grow by more than 3% in 2024 to reach $887 billion. To put things in perspective, this is more than the annual Gross Domestic Product of countries such as Switzerland, Poland, Argentina, Thailand or Egypt.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • Remittances are unilateral international transfers sent by individuals back to their home countries, typically to relatives. Although there are no official figures, it is estimated that a large portion of this money is used to meet basic household needs, much like any other wage or salary.
  • It is estimated that 78% of global remittances are sent to households in developing countries. India is the world’s largest recipient of these funds, with $125 billion in 2023, followed by Mexico with $67.2 billion.
  • Other countries receiving remittances with amounts fluctuating between $50 billion and $20 billion each are, in order of importance: China, Philippines, France, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Guatemala.
  • The global average cost of sending remittances is 6.2% of the amount sent, although in the Sub-Saharan Africa region this percentage climbs to 7.4%. These levels are more than double the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal Target 10.c of 3 per cent transaction costs at most.

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