The impact of remittances on American immigrants

finder.com uncovers just how much money immigrants have left to spare after sending money overseas.

A family photo with three kids

It’s International Day of Family Remittances on Friday, June 16, 2017. It’s a day to celebrate the hard work and contribution of immigrants who financially support their families in other countries. It’s not easy living away from loved ones. And based on the average incomes of immigrants, it also can be financially tough. In fact, we’ve crunched the numbers to find out just how tough it is.

As more money is sent from US to Mexico than any other country, and Hispanics have a significantly lower average income than other immigrant demographics, many are faced with financial challenges to support themselves and families abroad. With President Trump proposing a 2 percent tax on all remittances sent to Mexico, this will add further pressure on Mexican immigrants.

Just how much is left to spare?

Our research revealed that a Mexican immigrant is left with just $24,496 per year to live on, after sending an average of $4,178 per year to Mexico. That comes to just $471 per week, or $2,041 per month.

This figure was calculated after tax, based on the average Hispanic annual gross income of $33,569, and a finder.com survey which found that 51 percent of Hispanics send money overseas. That’s an estimated 6.15 million Mexican immigrants who send money overseas each year.

Countries that receive the most remittances from the U.S.

Mexico tops the list of more money sent south of the border than any other country, with $25.68 billion recorded by the World Bank in 2015. Mexico is followed by China ($16.23 billion), India ($11.74 billion), the Philippines ($9.65 billion), and Vietnam ($7.32 billion).

Despite this, Mexican immigrants send on average $4,178 per person each year to Mexico. This is less than the average amount sent to any of the other top remittance recipient countries, with the second highest, China, sitting at $11,025 per person per year.

Remittances from the U.S. to the top 5 countries

Avg annual incomeTotal USD remit from US to country in 2015Num of immigrants, as at 2015Num of immigrants who remitAvg total remit amount per immigrant per yearAvg net income after remittances and fees*
Mexico$33,569$25.68 billion12.05 million6.15 million$4,178$24,496
China$52,941$16.23 billion21.04 million1.47 million$11,025$32,040
India$52,941$11.74 billion1.97 million1.38 million$8,513$34,745
Philippines$52,941$9.65 billion1.90 million1.33 million$7,274$36,079
Vietnam$52,941$7.32 billion1.30 million912,009$8,029$35,266

Source: finder.com, World Bank, U.S. Census Bureau, United Nations, Migration Policy Institute, Expatistan
*Balance of net income is based on average gross salary, minus average remittance fees of 7.68% (sourced from World Bank), average money sent overseas per person per year, and minus income tax

Times are a-changin’

The remittance industry has continued to grow. On average, people who send money to Mexico from the U.S. sent $501 more in 2015 compared to what they sent in 2010, with the average total remittance per year person sitting at $4,178 in 2015 compared to $3,677 five years prior.

Out of the top five remittance countries from the U.S., Vietnam experienced the most growth. $2,313 more was sent to Vietnam on average per person in 2015 ($8,029), compared to $5,717 in 2010. Interestingly, the average amount of money that Filipinos send to the Philippines has fallen by $336 per person per year, from $7,610 in 2010 to $7,274 in 2015.

Average annual remittances per person from
2010 – 2015

Top remittance countries from the U.S.2015 – average remittance sent overseas per immigrant per year2010 – average remittance sent overseas per immigrant per yearDifference
Mexico$4,178$3,677$501
China$11,025$8,912$2,113
India$8,513$7,889$625
Philippines$7,274$7,610-$336
Vietnam$8,029$5,717$2,313

Source: finder.com, World Bank, U.S. Census Bureau, United Nations, Migration Policy Institute, Expatistan.

For media inquiries:

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Allan Givens
Public Relations Manager
203-818-2928
allan.givens@finder.com
/in/nicole-gallina/

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Nicole Gallina
Communications Coordinator
347-677-4931
nicole.gallina@finder.com
/in/nicole-gallina/

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