Global Remittances Guide
Remittances are among the most tangible links between migration and development. They are larger than foreign direct investment and official development assistance received by low- and middle-income countries. Overall global monetary transfers from migrant workers and others hit a record-high $714 billion in 2019, the World Bank estimates. Remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $554 billion in 2019. However, massive job losses and restrictions on global mobility in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic make it harder for people to send remittances to support families in home countries. The World Bank projects a 20 percent drop, with an estimated decline of $110 billion in remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries in 2020.
The tools below present the most up-to-date data on remittances. Select one of the maps below to visualize global remittance flows in 2018-19, numerically or as a share of GDP. Learn about remittance trends since 1970 and the relationships between remittance-sending and -receiving countries.
Note: Remittances are the sum of two components tracked by the International Monetary Fund: 1) the total income of migrant workers and other international migrants; and 2) personal transfers (cash and in-kind transfers) between residents and nonresidents. Read more about definitions and the data compiled by the World Bank here: https://migrationdataportal.org/themes/remittances. The World Bank 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 channels, the data should be regarded as underestimates of total flows.
A full Remittances Glossary is available along with Further Readings on Migration and Development topics.
This data tool is a project of MPI's Migrants, Migration, and Development program 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.