India's economy
Representational image: Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
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India sends more workers abroad than any other country. According to data from the United Nations, there were almost 17 million Indians working overseas in 2017.

With such a huge number of people earning a living outside their own country, it’s perhaps not surprising that Indians also top the ranking for remittances sent to families back home.

Image: World Bank | KNOMAD

The World Bank compiled the chart above using data from the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development. It shows Indian migrant workers sent home almost $79bn in 2018. China was the second largest recipient of remittances, with $67bn sent back by 10 million overseas workers.

In itself, the $79bn Indians sent home in remittances is a huge sum of money, but it is equal to just 2.7 per cent of India’s GDP, according to data from KNOMAD.

For smaller countries, remittances make up a much higher percentage of GDP.

The chart below uses data from the World Bank to rank the countries that are most dependent on remittances. Kyrgyzstan received $2.5bn in remittances in 2017, but that relatively small figure amounted to more than a third of the nation’s GDP. Nepal took in $6.9bn in remittances, making up 29 per cent of the country’s overall economic output.

Image: Statista

Remittances to low and middle-income countries reached a record high in 2018, according to the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.


Also read: Immigrants should do more than just send money home


The Bank estimates remittances to these countries reached $529 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.6 per cent over the previous record high of $483 billion in 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017.

This article was first published on the website of the World Economic Forum

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