Philippines remittance statistics

Remittances accounted for 9.8% of the country’s GDP in 2019.

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20 Dec 2019

The Philippines received US$35 billion in remittances in 2019, meaning remittances accounted for 9.8% of the country’s GDP. We’ve unpacked the most recently available data from 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 to someone from one country to another. 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 the Philippines has increased significantly over the past two decades.

Where is the money coming from?

Of all the countries that send remittances to the Philippines, the United States sends the most, with $11,099 million being sent in 2017. The United Arab Emirates sends the second most at $4,109 million, followed by Saudi Arabia at $3,686 million.

Top 22 countries that send remittances to the Philippines:

Sending countryUS$ millions
1United States11,099
2United Arab Emirates4,109
3Saudi Arabia3,686
4Canada2,370
5Malaysia1,962
6Qatar1,301
7Japan1,177
8Australia1,002
9Kuwait922
10Italy660
11United Kingdom658
12Hong Kong SAR, China653
13China536
14Germany291
15Korea, Rep.248
16Bahrain224
17Spain193
18New Zealand189
19Guam176
20Norway110
21Oman109
22Singapore87

Sources: World Bank, finder.com

Where are remittances sent to?

Money flows both ways, with remittances also being sent out of the Philippines. Overall, the amount of money being sent out of the Philippines is much smaller, with just $537 million sent in 2017. The most money was sent to China, followed by the United States, Japan and India.

Top 20 countries that the Philippines sends money to:

Receiving countryUS$ millions
1China206
2United States75
3Japan62
4India42
5Korea, Rep.16
6Australia16
7France16
8Germany15
9Spain11
10Belgium10
11Indonesia6
12Canada6
13Italy5
14Sweden5
15Qatar4
16Switzerland4
17United Kingdom4
18Nigeria3
19Austria3
20Denmark2

Sources: World Bank, finder.com

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 at 10.8%. Money transfer operators charge an average fee of 6.2%, while post offices charge the least at 5.5%. This is just an average, however, 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 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 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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