Migrant remittances to developing countries edge up in 2015, despite weak global conditions


This page in:

We just launched the new Migration and Development Brief and an accompanying Press Release.
The developing world received $431.6 billion in migrant remittances in 2015, a marginal increase of 0.4 percent over 2014. In contrast, global remittances, which include those to high-income countries, contracted by 1.7 percent to $581.6 billion in 2015.
The slowdown in remittances growth is largely due to economic weakness in the major remittance-sending countries. Weak oil prices and currencies in many remittance-source countries, especially Russia, further depressed remittance flows in U.S. dollar terms.
This year, however, should see a recovery in remittance-sending by international migrants. We are expecting remittances to rise by around 4 percent a year this year and next. A major downside risk to this forecast is the potential for a decline in outward remittances from Gulf Cooperation Council countries due to continuing weakness in the price of oil. Also, the continued widening of black market premia and imposition of capital controls could limit formal remittance inflows in some countries.
Remittance flows will continue to benefit from increased and increasing movement of people across national borders. As the recently-released Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016 showed, more than 250 million people, or 3.4 percent of the world population, live outside their countries of birth. The volume of South–South migration stands at 38 percent of the total migrant stock, larger than South–North migration.
Mexico–United States is the largest migration corridor in the world, followed by Russia–Ukraine, and Bangladesh–India. The top migrant-destination country is the United States, followed by Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Russia, while the number of migrant workers as a share of population is the highest in the smaller nations of Qatar (91 percent), the United Arab Emirates (88 percent) and Kuwait (72 percent).
In a special feature on natural disasters and epidemics, the Brief notes that migration and remittances have long played important roles in helping to cope with natural disasters, although the vast majority of people displaced by a disaster move for only a short period and remain in their home country.
The diaspora provides significant help during natural disasters, as in the case of Nepal's earthquake last year. However, we know little about how it responds to communities in times of epidemics such as Ebola. We need more data and research on this topic.
Do read the latest Brief for more on the latest trends in migration, remittances and other related topics, including the latest data on refugees.
Read the press release here (Also available in: Français | العربية Español)
Datasets on Inflows and Outflows
Bilateral Remittances Matrix, 2015
Bilateral Remittances Matrix, 2014
Bilateral Migration Matrix, 2013
For more information, visit www.worldbank.org/migration