Officially recorded remittances by the World Bank to developing countries were $435 billion in 2014, an increase of 5 percent over 2013. The growth rate is substantially faster than the 3.4 percent growth recorded in 2013, driven largely by remittances to Asia and Latin America.
Remittances to developing countries will continue climbing in the medium term, reaching an estimated $454 billion in 2015.
Global remittances, including those to high-income countries, are estimated at $582 billion this year, rising to $608 billion in 2015.
Remittances remain an especially important and stable source of private inflows to developing countries, as they bring in large amounts of foreign currency that help sustain the balance of payments. In 2013, remittances were significantly higher than foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing countries (excluding China) and were three times larger than official development assistance.
The brief notes that the global average cost of sending remittances continued its downward trend in 2014, falling to 7.9 percent of the value sent in the third quarter, compared to 8.9 percent a year earlier. However, the cost of sending money to Africa remains stubbornly high, exceeding 11 percent.
Remittance flows are expected to grow robustly to almost all regions of the developing world, except Europe and Central Asia, where the conflict in Ukraine and associated sanctions are contributing to an economic slowdown in Russia, home to a large number of migrants from the region. The East Asia and Pacific and South Asia regions will continue to attract the largest remittance flows.
India, with the world’s largest emigrant stock of 14 million people, will remained in the top spot in 2014, attracting about $71 billion in remittances. Other large recipients are China ($64 billion), the Philippines ($28 billion), Mexico ($24 billion), Nigeria ($21 billion), Egypt ($18 billion), Pakistan ($17 billion), Bangladesh ($15 billion), Vietnam ($11 billion) and Ukraine ($9 billion).