Remittances are among the most tangible links between migration and development. According to World Bank estimates, officially-recorded remittances flows in 2010 totaled over US$440 billion worldwide. As in the past, developing countries received the lion’s share of global remittances (US$325 billion). In 24 countries, remittances were equal to more than 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009; in nine countries they were equal to more than 20 percent of GDP.
While global remittances to developing countries rebounded following a recession-spurred drop, from $325 billion in 2008 to $308 billion in 2009, remittances’ purchasing power has not kept pace. The World Bank projects that with improved economic prospects, remittances to developing countries will grow by 7 percent to 8 percent a year and are forecasted to reach $404 billion by 2013. However, due to inflation and national currency appreciation, migrants from many developing countries might have to send more remittances to equal the amounts sent in the past.
Select one of the two maps below to visualize global remittance flows in 2010, either numerically or as a share of GDP. Learn about remittance trends and other migration and development indicators in the world and the top remittances-receiving countries by selecting the geography of interest.
Note: These data only capture remittances sent through formal channels such as banks and money transfer operators. Currently, no uniform and authoritative historical data on informal flows exist. Given the widespread use of informal remittance channels in many countries, the remittance data presented in this guide should be regarded as underestimates of the total flows.
While recognizing the wealth of data and research that already exists on remittances, our Global Remittances Guide serves as a central hub for the dissemination of data on remittances as they are linked to both international migration and development. To provide a portrait of global remittance flows, the guide leverages remittance data compiled by the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group on more than 150 countries.
The regional and country profiles displayed through the Global Remittances Guide:
A full Remittances Glossary is available along with Further Readings on Migration and Development topics.
This data tool is a project of the Migration Policy Institute's Migrants, Migration, and Development program. It was made possible with generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the technical assistance of Dilip Ratha and Sanket Mohapatra from the Development Prospects Group, The World Bank, and research assistance of Roberto Munster, MPI.
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