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Top Remittance-Receiving Countries in 2022

Top Remittance-Receiving Countries in 2022

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In most cases, we use the term “remittance” to describe the transfers of non-commercial funds by the expat population to their relatives in the homeland. Thus, remittances are essential for citizens of developing nations to alleviate poverty, boost socioeconomic growth and offer an additional income source for many families.

So, let’s see how the top remittance-receiving countries handled the financially turbulent 2022.

Top Remittance-Receiving Countries

1. India

It’s no secret that India has a massive diaspora, with millions of high-skilled workers across high-income countries, predominantly the United States. Moreover, India was set to become the first country to receive over $100 billion in remittances in 2022.

Despite the various hardships in 2022, yearly remittances in East Asia and the Pacific increased by 0.7% compared to 2021. Of course, India takes the most significant piece of the pie because Indian migrant workers have sent more than $100 billion home.

Historically, Indian expatriates have been generous with remittances, and the available data for remittances by country reveals a rising trend in India for the last ten years. For instance, in 2021, India received around $87 billion in yearly remittances, compared to “only” $68.82 billion back in 2012.

2. China

China is another global superpower with a massive army of migrant workers, many of whom send money home to relatives or friends. For example, the remittance inflow to Chinese GDP in 2022 stood at 0.12%, significantly contributing to the country’s economy.

However, unlike India, Chinese remittances fluctuated over the past decade, reaching their peak in 2019 when China received $70.3 billion in remittances. According to remittance statistics for 2021, China received “only” $53 billion during this challenging year. On the other hand, remittances received in 2012 amounted to $57.99 billion.

Population-wise, China is the world’s largest country, with many of its citizens receiving financial help from relatives abroad. Therefore, experts predict that Chinese yearly remittances will find a stable upward trajectory and only grow in the future.

3. Mexico

Money sent from citizens abroad is a vital source of income for Central American households, and many Mexican families heavily depend on remittances. For instance, Mexico regularly ranks high on the remittance list, with the amounts received showing an upward trend in recent years.

Unexpectedly, remittances to Mexico increased during the pandemic, hitting record-breaking levels in 2021. Namely, remittances to Mexico exceeded $8 billion by May 2021, and by the end of the year, the total amount to CAPDR and Mexico was around $53 billion.

Unemployment insurance reliefs and the rising US wages contributed to growing remittances, and Mexican expatriates increased the average amount per transaction and the number of transfers. Lockdowns prevented many Mexicans from traveling home, triggering an increased usage of digital payments for remittances.

4. The Philippines

The latest remittance report for 2021 and 2022 shows that the Philippines also increasingly rely on funds sent from workers abroad. Namely, this picturesque island country is among the leading labor-exporting nations, with millions of Filipino nurses and service workers sending remittances back home.

The average yearly remittances for the Philippines between 1977 and 2021 were $8.5 billion, but the values have increased steadily over this period. The figures from 2021 reveal that this East-Asian nation received $27.8 billion that year, placing the Philippines among the top 5 remittance-receiving countries.

Thanks to a 1.3% annual population growth rate, the Philippines could gradually grow its expat community, resulting in increased remittances and money transfers. In any case, the future looks bright for an economy buoyed by remittances and diaspora.

5. Egypt

The first African country on this list is the old home of pharaohs and gods, but many modern-day Egyptians live abroad and send money home to relatives. More precisely, the Egyptian diaspora sent around $31.5 billion in remittances in 2021.

Like many other countries, Egypt’s remittances are trending upwards, with modern payment methods facilitating remittance flows. For instance, the country’s remittance volume increased by approximately $4 billion in 2021 compared to 2020.

In 2022, Egyptian remittances saw a 2.5% year-over-year growth and rose to $32.3 billion. Yet, the World Bank experts predict a slower growth rate for 2023 because remittances could decelerate because of global and regional financial difficulties. On the other hand, surging oil prices could increase remittances sent by Egyptian workers stationed in the Gulf.

6. Nigeria

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), diaspora remittances increased by 5.1% quarter-on-quarter between Q1 2021 and Q1 2020. Moreover, remittance statistics for Nigeria show that the total remittance inflow for 2021 reached $17.6 billion.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria made an excellent economic recovery, with digital remittances following the rising trends. After all, the Nigerian diaspora had sent only $16.94 billion in remittances during 2020.

The CBN implemented several measures, including the “Naira4Dollar scheme, to improve the efficiency and safety of sending and receiving remittances. In addition, these efforts should stifle money laundering practices in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries.

7. Pakistan

Although it can’t match its neighbor given the massive remittances to India, Pakistan earns a spot on our list because it received nearly $33 billion in remittances in 2021. Overseas Pakistani workers were more generous than in previous years, breaking the record in 2021 and significantly boosting the domestic economy.

So, despite the global economic slowdown, the remittances to Pakistan are growing, especially compared to those a decade ago. Namely, the country received only $14 billion in 2012, but the amount kept increasing after 2014.

Nevertheless, the remittance outlook for Pakistan remains highly uncertain since remittance payments depend on the global economic situation. Pakistani experts predict a 5% remittance growth for 2023, increasing the inflow of formally recorded remittances to more than $34 billion annually.

8. Bangladesh

Bangladesh is another Asian country with a regular spot among the leading remittance receivers, even though the Bangladeshi government reported only a 2.2% remittance growth in 2021. More precisely, the country received $22 billion from workers abroad, enough to place Bangladesh in the eighth spot on this list.

During the holy month of Ramadan in March 2022, Bangladesh reported a 24% spike in monthly remittances, while the total remittance amount for 2022 could grow by 2% compared to the previous year, according to the World Bank.

As expected, the USA is among Bangladesh's primary “sending states” of remittances. The remittance inflows contributed to 6.2% of Bangladesh's GDP in 2021, making these funds essential to the country’s economy. However, the current crisis could dampen the Bangladeshi migrant’s remitting potential in 2023.

9. Morocco

Morocco is a demographically young country with a 1.2% annual population growth rate, but the negative net migration is slowing the population growth. On the other hand, the migrations are boosting overseas remittance. Thus, Morocco is the second Arab country in remittance volume, preceded only by Egypt.

For instance, Moroccans abroad sent $7.3 billion in remittances by September 2022, revealing an 11.6% YoY increase in money sent from migrant workers. The flow of remittances had a slight dip in 2019, but the Moroccan diaspora is back in full swing.

Notably, the yearly remittances between 2018 and 2021 rose from $3.5 billion to $5.5 billion. The volume of remittances peaked at the height of the pandemic, and the current foreign remittance amounts to 6.5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

10. Guatemala

Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a 9.2% increase in remittances in 2022, with the total funds amounting to $142 billion. Guatemala also saw a rise in remittances, with a 20% year-over-year growth for the first nine months of the year.

More precisely, the formal remittances to Guatemala in 2021 were close to $14 billion, making Guatemala a pivotal player in the Central American region. Although remittances by country can vary, entire Latin America and the Caribbean expect the growth in remittances to continue in 2023.

On average, nine out of ten Guatemalans leave the country to search for economic opportunities, mainly in the United States. Approximately three million Guatemalans send money from the US to relatives in their homeland, and stimulus packages in 2021 increased the annual remittances to $15.3 billion, an all-time high for Guatemala.

The Takeaway

As you could’ve seen from our list of the top remittance-receiving countries, these funds are a lifeline for many developing economies, especially now when they are battling inflation and post-pandemic recovery.

And although the official figures might differ from the actual situation because remittances often travel through informal channels, the data above reveals the importance of remittance for international capital flow in 2022 and beyond.

Darko Radic
Darko Radic
Despite his BA in English, Darko’s interests slowly strayed away from analyzing Shakespeare and re-reading the classics. Instead, he goes above and beyond to build his online writing portfolio, covering everything from SEO and digital marketing to finance and crypto. Effortlessly, he dives into reports and research papers to extract the juiciest parts and make the reader’s life easier. When not writing, Darko typically explores mountain trails with his loyal Belgian Malinois.