Published on People Move

Worldwide Remittance Flows updated to $483 billion for 2011

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We have updated the data on worldwide remittance flows -  including flows to developing countries and high income countries - to $483 billion in 2011. Of this, developing countries received $351 billion in 2011.  Worldwide remittance flows are expected to reach $593 billion in 2014. Note that these are officially recorded flows and are believed to under-record flows through informal channels.
The update to worldwide remittance inflows arises from a higher total for high-income countries than previously reported (see updated table in my blog post). In addition to being the primary sources of remittances for developing countries, high income countries also receive substantial remittance inflows, often from their nationals working in foreign countries. The purpose of remittances in high-income countries, however, is less for helping families and more for own household or personal uses - than in the case of remittances to developing countries.

The largest remittance recipients among high income countries in 2011 are estimated to be France ($16.4 bn), Germany ($12.1 bn.), Belgium ($10.9 bn.), Spain ($10.8 bn.), Korea ($9.3 bn.) and UK ($8.4 bn.). However, as a share of their gross domestic product (GDP), the volume of remittance inflows to high-income countries is much smaller (0.3 percent of GDP) compared to remittances received by developing countries (1.7 percent of GDP).


Dilip Ratha

Lead Economist and Economic Adviser to the Vice President of Operations, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, World Bank

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