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Indonesian remittance statistics

Remittances accounted for 1.1% of the country’s GDP in 2019.

Indonesia received US$9.6 billion in remittances in 2020 and sent US$4.5 billion abroad. We’ve unpacked the most recently available data from the World Bank to get an idea of where this money is coming from.

What does remittance mean?

Remittance refers to the transfer of money. In this case, it’s about transferring funds from someone in one country to a person in another country. It’s particularly important in many developing nations, where international remittances make up a significant portion of the country’s GDP. The total value of remittances received in Indonesia has increased significantly over the past two decades.

Where is the money coming from?

Of all the countries that send remittances to Indonesia, Saudi Arabia sends the most, with $3.4 billion being sent in 2017. Malaysia sends the second most at $2.2 billion followed by the United Arab Emirates at $770 million.

Top 22 countries that send remittances to Indonesia:

RankSending countryUS$ millions
1Saudi Arabia$3,400
3United Arab Emirates$770
6Hong Kong SAR, China$307
8United States$248
14Korea, Rep.$72
19United Kingdom$25
21Papua New Guinea$22

Sources: World Bank, finder.com

Where are remittances sent to?

Money flows both ways, with remittances also being sent out of Indonesia. Overall, the amount of money being sent out of Indonesia is much smaller, with just $877 million sent in 2017. The most money was sent to China, followed by Thailand, Japan and Korea.

Top 17 countries that Indonesia sends money to:

Sources: World Bank, finder.com

RankSending countryUS$ millions
4Korea, Rep.$66
9United Kingdom$23
10United States$22
14Saudi Arabia$2
17Syrian Arab Republic$1

What are the remittance fees around the world?

With such an enormous amount of money being moved across borders, what is the cost of sending money overseas? The fees that most providers charge include exchange-rate margins as well as a transfer fee.

The global average rate for remittances is 7.14%*, but this varies by country and method of payment. Banks are by far the most expensive method to remit money, with fees averaging 10.8%. Money transfer operators charge an average fee of 6.2%, while post offices charge the least at 5.5%. However, this is just an average, and the number can vary. Make sure to compare what options are available to you before diving in.

The map below shows the average rate of remittance fees globally and is sortable by the year. In 2017, the most expensive countries included Angola at 24% and Nigeria at 25%.

Net remittances

The world map below illustrates which countries receive the most remittances and which countries send out the most. To show this, we've used the data on what each country receives in remittances minus what it sends out. If a country has a negative value, this means that it's sending out more than what it's receiving.

The United States, for example, is the country that sends out the most money in remittances compared to what it receives. India, on the other hand, receives more remittance payments than it sends out.

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