Our international economy is complex, nuanced, and endlessly evolving.
And yet, as complicated as the economy may be, one element remains vividly clear:
global remittances play a vital role in sustaining communities around the world.
Each time migrant workers send money home, they preserve a cycle of benevolence that empowers individuals, families, and entire regions to thrive.
In order to better understand the true impact of global remittances, here are 14 instructive remittance statistics you might not know.
1. Global Remittances Involve Over One Billion People
Remittances are a truly international phenomenon: over a billion people are involved with remittances around the world.
Approximately 200 million migrant workers send money back home, while more than 800 million people receive it.
2. India Remains the Top Recipient of Global Remittances
Since 2008, India has had the largest share of remittance flows. In 2021, India remittance inflows to India were nearly at $90 billion, considerably more than any other nation.
In 2021, Mexico received the second largest share of remittances with a total of $54 billion, China received $53 billion, the Philippines ranked fourth at $37 billion, and Egypt rounded out the top five recipient countries with $32 billion.
3. Global Remittances Hit Record Highs in 2021
Since 2010, global remittances have surged.
Last year, remittance flows reached over $590 billion, a whopping 7.3% growth over 2020.
This trend is expected to continue over the coming decade.
4. Global Remittances Will Set a New Record in 2022
This year, global remittances are expected to see a 4.2% growth.
By December 31st, forecasters anticipate a final tally of over $630 billion sent in remittances—a new world record.
5. By 2030, Global Remittances Will Total $5.4 Trillion
Over the next eight years, analysts expect total remittances to continue their exponential growth.
By 2030, remittances will likely reach a staggering $5.4 trillion.
6. In 2021, Latin America Experienced Major Remittance Growth
Over the last decade, many regions have seen a marked increase in remittance flows.
In particular, Latin America has witnessed truly stratospheric growth, receiving $127.6 billion in 2021 alone.
That represents an annual growth of 26%, the highest in two decades, and nearly 300% above the region’s remittance rate in 2005.
7. Global Remittances Top Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
In 2018, remittances officially surpassed foreign direct investment (FDI)—the financial backing of firms from one country to another.
In other words, remittances are now the largest source of foreign aid in the global economy, especially for low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
8. Global Remittances Account For 5% GDP in 54 Countries
For many nations, remittances are more than a welcome financial gift: they’re an engine of economic prosperity.
According to The Economist, remittances account for over 5 percent of the GDP in 54 nations.
9. Global Remittances Account For Over 30% of GDP in Some Countries
For countries like Tonga, Somalia, and Lebanon, remittances account for over 32% of GDP.
In Tajikistan, remittances provide 31% of the total GDP, while in Kyrgyzstan, they account for over 35% of GDP.
10. Global Remittances Help Fight Poverty
The practical effects of remittances are well established, especially when it comes to fighting poverty.
In fact, a mere 1% increase in global remittances—as a percentage of GDP—has been shown to equal a 22% decline in the poverty gap ratio.
11. Global Remittances Help Achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, member states of the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030.
While ending poverty remains the top priority, there are five other categories where remittances have proven to play a vital role:
- Elimination of hunger (SDG 2).
- Support for better health and well-being (SDG 3).
- Increase of quality education (SDG 4).
- Promotion of clean water and sanitation (SDG 6).
- Facilitation of economic opportunity and growth (SDG 8).
According to Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD):
“The small amounts of $200 or $300 that each migrant sends home make up about 60% of the family’s household income. This makes an enormous difference in their lives and the communities in which they live.”
12. Global Remittances Promote Access to Education
The benefits of remittances aren’t merely limited to the financial realm.
In fact, remittances help keep 3.5 million children in school worldwide.
Global remittances have also been shown to significantly curb school drop-out rates in Sri Lanka, El Salvador, and Nepal.
13. Global Remittances Enhance Healthcare
When it comes to promoting quality of life, remittances are essential.
New research shows that global remittances increase health knowledge and access to healthcare.
More importantly, remittance flows also improve life expectancy and reduce infant mortality.
14. Global Remittance Costs Are Still Too Expensive
While remittances are the lifeblood of our international economy, they nevertheless remain too costly for the average consumer.
The global average cost of remittances hovers around 6.5%, more than twice the SDG target listed by the United Nations.
Fortunately, even minor reductions in fee structures can have lasting benefits for consumers.
According to Dilip Ratha, Head of KNOMAD, “Lowering remittance fees by just two percentage points would potentially translate to $12 billion of annual savings for international migrants from low-and-middle-income-countries (LMICs).”
At UniTeller, we have one overarching goal: to continue making remittances as accessible and affordable as possible.
The global community depends on these payments, and we’ll do everything we can to continue advancing our technology and expanding our international reach.
In support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, UniTeller remains committed to providing great exchange rates and low-fees to all of our customers.
Partnering With UniTeller
When it comes to cross-border payments, UniTeller maintains the highest standard of excellence.
As a fully-licensed money transmitter in the United States and soon to be in Canada, UniTeller remains intensely committed to providing payment services with a transparent and flexible business model.
We provide in-depth training for you and your team, so you can see how the process works and offer remittance services to your end customers. By partnering with UniTeller, you’ll also gain access to our multilingual Customer Service department.
As a UniTeller Selling Agent, you will have total confidence in the speed and safety of the money transfer and international bill payment services you provide. Also, you’ll have access to process remittances to our extensive payout network of over 200,000 paying locations in over 80 countries worldwide.
And it’s trusted by countless customers and business owners across the United States.
Want to learn more about becoming a UniTeller Selling Agent? Click here to get started.