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India Remittance Statistics

India receives significantly more in remittances than it distributes

India received US$83.1 billion in remittances in 2020 and sent US$7 billion abroad. So where is all the money coming from? We took a look at World Bank data to find out.

What does remittance mean?

Remittance refers to the transfer of money, and in this case, it’s about transferring funds from one country to 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 by India has steadily grown over the last decade.

What are the top countries India receives money from?

Of all the countries India receives money from, the United Arab Emirates remits the most to India with $13.82 billion sent in 2017 followed closely by the United States ($11.72 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($11.24 billion). Other countries sending money to India include Kuwait, Qatar, the United Kingdom, Oman, Nepal and Canada.

Sending countryUS millions
1United Arab Emirates13,823
2United States11,715
3Saudi Arabia11,239
6United Kingdom3,941

Sources: World Bank,

Where are people sending remittances to?

India sends significantly less in remittances than it receives, with just $5.71 billion sent in remittances in 2017. India sends the most to Bangladesh ($4.03 billion) followed by Nepal ($1.02 billion) and Sri Lanka ($520 million). France also makes the top 10 ($15 mil) along with Germany ($9 mil) and the United States ($6 mil).

Receiving countryUS millions
3Sri Lanka520

Sources: World Bank,

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 on top.

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

Net remittances

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

The United States, for example, sends out the most money in remittances compared to what is sent to those living there. India, on the other hand, receives more remittance payments than its residents send out.

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