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Remittances on track to become the largest source of external financing in developing countries

Dilip Ratha's picture
Officially recorded annual remittances to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) reached a record high of $529 billion in 2018, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief. This represents a 9.6 percent growth over the previous record high in 2017.
 
Regionally, growth in remittance inflows ranged from almost 7 percent in East Asia and the Pacific to 12 percent in South Asia. The overall increase was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation.
 
With foreign direct investment (FDI) on a downward trend in recent years, remittances reached close to the level of FDI flows in 2018. Excluding China, remittances to LMICs ($462 billion) were significantly larger than FDI flows in 2018 ($344 billion). This makes remittances the largest source of foreign exchange earnings in the LMICs, excluding China.
 
Bearing in mind that the Brief uses officially recorded remittances data, if we were to include remittances through informal channels, its true size and social impact is much larger.
 
In 2019, remittance flows to LMICs are likely to reach $550 billion, to become their largest source of external financing—larger than FDI, including flows to China. Remittances are already more than three times the size of official development assistance.

Around the World, More Say Immigrants Are a Strength Than a Burden

Ana Gonzalez-Barrera's picture
Publics divided on immigrants’ willingness to adopt host country’s customs

Majorities in some of the world’s top destinations for international migrants say immigrants strengthen their countries, according to a new Pew Research Center report with data from 18 nations which host more than half the world’s migrant population.

In 10 of 18 countries surveyed, majorities view immigrants as a strength rather than a burden. Among those 10 are some of the largest immigrant receiving countries in the world: the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Australia (each hosting more than 7 million immigrants in 2017).
 

Japan’s new immigration policy may be a development game changer for South Asia

Supriyo De's picture
In observance of the International Migrants Day, Dec 18 

Japan has embarked on a major migration policy shift with a new law that passed the Upper House of the Diet in December 2018. Starting in April 2019, the new law will allow inflows of two types of foreign workers: (i) low-skilled foreign workers who would reside in Japan for up to five years and work in 14 specific sectors, including farming, construction, hospitality and shipbuilding sectors, but shall not be allowed to bring their family members, and (ii) foreign workers with a higher level of skills who would be allowed to bring their family members and could be allowed to live in Japan indefinitely (see Migration and Development Brief 30). According to news reports, Japan plans to induct 340,000 migrant workers over the next five years, though this may not be sufficient to compensate for a declining population which fell by 373,000 in 2017.

Women and Migration: Exploring the Data

Kathleen Beegle's picture
In observance of the International Migrants Day, Dec 18 

International Migrants Day is a call to disseminate information on international migration and look toward further understanding its intersection with economic growth and socioeconomic wellbeing. Here we draw on data from the World Bank Gender Data Portal to highlight four big facts about women AND international migration.

Making remittances work for the poor-Three lessons learned from three Greenback 2.0 Remittance Champion Cities in Southeast Europe

In observance of the International Migrants Day, Dec 18 

“Mother, you shall not fear as long as your sons live in Germany” goes a popular folk song in Kosovo. Its equivalent in Bosnia and Herzegovina says “I am from Bosnia, take me to America” and in Albania the most famous morning show goes by the motto “Love your country, like Albania loves America”.  In these countries, migration and remittances are synonyms of economic prosperity in the homeland.

Migrants and diaspora have contributed to the outcomes of the Russia’s 2018 Football World Cup

Nadege Desiree Yameogo's picture
In observance of the International Migrants Day, Dec 18

Throughout human history, migrants have not only fueled but they also lubricate the engine of human progress. The movement of people sparks innovation, spreads ideas and technologies, reduced poverty and inequality, and laid the foundations for today's globally interconnected economies.

Accelerated remittances growth to low- and middle-income countries in 2018

Dilip Ratha's picture
On the back of stronger growth in remittance-sending economies, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries are expected to reach a new record of $528 billion in 2018, an increase of 10.8 percent from last year, according to the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief released today.
 

The Migrant Rights Database

Justin Gest's picture
The current negotiations for Global Compacts on the movement of people across international borders represent a milestone in the global governance of human migration. Until now, the rights and movement of people crossing international borders have been inadequately governed and incompletely protected by a fragmented patchwork of institutions and norms. In response, policy makers and activists are pursuing a global standard.

The Global Compacts and Environmental Drivers of Migration

Susan Martin's picture
The Global Compacts on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and on Refugees hold the potential for addressing the causes of and improving responses to migration, displacement and relocation across borders as a result of sudden- and slow-onset natural disasters, environmental degradation, and the adverse effects of climate change. The compacts reference and, in the case of the migration compact, provide specific commitments to address the drivers of environmental mobility and to develop policies aimed at ensuring greater protection for those affected by these movements.

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