February 20, 2014

Remittance Flows Worldwide in 2012

U.S. top sending country; India top receiving country

Please select a country on the map

in remittances were sent from to other countries in 2012

in remittances were sent to from other countries in 2012

Patterns of global migration have shifted in recent decades and those changes, along with the ups-and-downs of the economy, have also resulted in changes in the flow of remittances —the money that many migrants send back to families in their countries of origin.

International migrants sent $529 billion in remittances back to their home countries in 2012, according to the World Bank. The United States is the number one sender of international remittances, accounting for nearly a quarter of them (23.3%). India ranks at the top of all countries that receive remittances, with $69 billion in 2012.

Tracking remittances worldwide is difficult because many countries do not track funds that are sent or received. Based on data it is able to collect, the World Bank has used a statistical model to estimate the amount of money coming from each sending country to each receiving country. Because these numbers are estimates, there is some room for error.

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"Remittances" are funds or other assets sent to their home countries by migrants, either themselves or in the form of compensation for border, short-term and seasonal employees (World Bank, 2013). Total remittances received by a country, as reported by the World Bank, include remittances sent via formal channels, such as banks and other businesses that transfer money. Data in this interactive are provided by the World Bank and follow World Bank definitions adopted from the International Monetary Fund nations (World Bank, 2013). If unofficial remittances were counted, the total could be as much as 50% higher or more, according to household surveys and other evidence cited by the World Bank (World Bank, 2005). Remittance data are provided by the World Bank and follow World Bank definitions adopted from the International Monetary Fund (World Bank, 2013). Remittance flows presented in this map are based in part on World Bank estimates derived from a statistical model, and therefore are subject to some error. For more information, see (Ratha and Shaw, 2007) Incoming remittance flows from specific countries might not add to the total due to World Bank being unable to identify the source of some of the remittance inflows.

Source: World Bank 2012 Bilateral Remittance Matrix.