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Remittance statistics

Find out the data on which countries send and receive the most money abroad.

The United States sent $74,577 million in remittances in 2021. We’ve unpacked the most recently available data from the World Bank to get an idea of which countries send and receive the most money in remittances. Figures are in US dollars.

Key statistics

  • Global inward remittances amounted to US$773,190 million in 2021.
  • The United States sent the most remittances at $74,577 million, up from $69,918 million in 2020.
  • Meanwhile the US received just $6,699 million in remittances in 2021, down from $7,163 million in 2020.

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 around the world has increased significantly over the past 2 decades.

Remittances to and from the United States

The United States sent a total of $74,577 million in remittances in 2021, the highest of any other country.

Meanwhile, the US received just $6,699 million in remittances in 2021. This is down from the $7,163 million in 2020 and $6,941 million in 2019.

Countries whose GDPs depend on money transfers

Countries that are classed as “developing nations” saw migrant remittance inflows making up a solid percentage of their GDP in 2021. In countries such as Lebanon, migrant remittance inflows were responsible for more than half (54%) of 2021 GDP. Rounding out the top 5 countries reliant on migrant remittance inflows were Tonga (44%), Tajikistan (35%), Kyrgyz Republic (33%) and Samoa (32%).

Which countries are sending the most money?

Where is all that money coming from? Of all the countries that are sending money overseas, the US sends by far the most offshore, with $74,577 million being sent in 2021.

The United States was followed by Saudi Arabia ($40,735 million), China ($22,903 million), the Russian Federation ($16,820 million) and Luxembourg ($15,563 million) to round out the top 5 countries sending money abroad.

Which country is receiving the most money?

As far as where that money is being sent, India tops the list for countries receiving remittances at $89,375 million.

India was followed by Mexico ($54,130 million), China ($53,000 million), the Philippines ($36,685 million) and Egypt ($31,501 million) to round out the top 5 countries receiving money from abroad.

Which countries are receiving more than they’re sending?

With $89,375 million received in remittances (inward) and just $8,181 million sent (outward), India has the top net remittance of $81,194 million in 2021. Rounding off the top 5 markets are the Philippines ($36,429 million), Pakistan ($30,982 million), China ($30,097) and Bangladesh ($22,102 million).

On the other end of the spectrum is the United States, with a 2021 net remittance of -$67,878 million – meaning they’re sending more money in remittances than they received. The United States is followed by Saudi Arabia (-$40,440 million), Luxembourg (-$13,290 million), the Netherlands (-$12,649) and Qatar (-$10,139 million).

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%.