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$528 Billion in Remittances to Developing Countries in 2018

December 20, 2018

The World Bank estimated that remittances to developing countries were $528 billion in 2018. Half of these remittances were received by six countries: India received $80 billion, China ($67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines ($34 billion each), and Egypt ($26 billion) and Nigeria ($25 billion). Remittances were the largest share of GDP in ex-USSR countries and island states, led by Kyrgyz Republic, where remittances were 36 percent of GDP, and Tonga, 35 percent.

India received the most remittances; Remittances were the highest share of GDP in Kyrgyz Republic


Source: World Bank. 2018. Migration and Remittances Brief 30. December.

In the Americas, Mexico was the leading recipient of remittances, at $34 billion, followed by Guatemala, $10 billion, and the Dominican Republic, $7 billion. Haiti was most dependent on remittances, with private money transfers accounting for 26 percent of GDP, followed by Honduras, 20 percent, and El Salvador, 19 percent.

In the Americas, Mexico received the most remittances; Remittances were the highest share of GDP in Haiti and Honduras


Source: World Bank. 2018. Migration and Remittances Brief 30. December.

The average cost of remitting $200 over national borders was seven percent of the amount transferred. Remittance costs were lowest in South Asia at five percent of the amount transferred, and highest in Sub-Saharan Africa at nine percent.

The average cost of sending $200 over national borders is 7% or $14


Source: World Bank. 2018. Migration and Remittances Brief 30. December.

Remittances, which are typically small sums sent over national borders by migrants to their families at home, first surpassed Official Development Assistance in the mid-1990s and have continued to increase; remittances are now four times ODA. In recent years, remittance flows have surpassed other financial flows, including Foreign Direct Investment and private investments in developing countries.

Remittances were the largest financial flow to developing countries in 2018


Source: World Bank. 2018. Migration and Remittances Brief 30. December.