US remittance statistics

Americans sent over $148 billion overseas in 2017.

The US received US$6.1 billion in remittances in 2020 and sent $68 billion overseas. 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 the United States has increased significantly over the past two decades.

Where is the money coming from?

Of all the countries that send remittances to the USA, Mexico sends the most, with $1.7 billion being sent in 2017. Canada sends the second most at $662 million followed by the UK at $465 million.

Top 22 countries that send remittances to the US:

RankSending countryUS$ millions
3United Kingdom465
4Puerto Rico395
8Korea, Rep.150
19Saudi Arabia74

Sources: World Bank,

Where are remittances sent to?

Money flows both ways, with remittances also being sent out of the US. Overall, the United States sends way more money overseas than it receives, with $148 billion being sent in 2017. The most money was sent to Mexico, followed by China, India and the Philippines.

Top 20 countries that the USA sends money to:

Sources: World Bank,

RankSending countryUS$ millions
8El Salvador4,611
9Dominican Republic4,594
11Korea, Rep.2,834

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.

More guides on Finder

  • Sigue international money transfers review

    Sigue offers speedy money transfers to 50+ countries, but you have to set up a transfer to see the transaction fees.

  • Usend review

    Usend combines money transfers, bill pay and mobile phone reloading.

  • Healthcare costs by country analysis of data from WHO, Global Health Expenditure database and the OECD Health Statistics to determine healthcare costs by country.

  • Remitly launches no-fee banking for immigrants

    The new Passbook debit account is designed specifically for those without a Social Security number.

  • MoneyGram Reports Record Holiday Transactions

    The second-largest money transfer company in the world reported a 70% increase in transactions year-over-year.

  • Finder’s Starbucks Index 2019

    Ever wondered how much a tall Starbucks latte costs around the world? And what does that say about the value of currency? Finder’s Starbucks Index 2019 delves into the data to find out.

  • Wise Multi-currency Account

    Convert cash and make payments overseas with the Wise debit card.

  • Remitly vs. Ria

    Trying to decide between Remitly and Ria? We compare the fees, rates, features and transfer speeds of both to help you make your decision.

  • Remitano P2P cryptocurrency platform – review

    Remitano lets you buy bitcoin and other cryptos in a peer-to-peer marketplace, but is it safe to use? Find out what to expect in our review.

  • Unimoni review

    Unimoni offers fast transfers at competitive rates, but it isn’t available to US senders. Learn how it works and what alternatives are available to you.

Go to site