India tops list of highest migrant remittances, says World Bank

20 March 2008

India tops the list of recipient countries of migrant remittances at $27 billion last year, followed by China, Mexico, the Philippines and France, the World Bank says in a new report released today.

India tops the list of recipient countries of migrant remittances at $27 billion last year, followed by China, Mexico, the Philippines and France, the World Bank says in a new report released today.

“In many developing countries, remittances provide a lifeline for the poor,” said Dilip Ratha, senior economist and co-author of the “Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008.”

He added that “they are often an essential source of foreign exchange and a stabilizing force for the economy in turbulent times.”

Tajikistan, Moldova and Tonga were the top remittance-receiving countries as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).

In 2005, the United States was the top immigration country, with 38.4 million immigrants, followed by Russia with 12.1 million and Germany with 10.1 million. As a percentage of the population, Qatar (78 per cent), Andorra (78 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (71 per cent) were the top countries.

“Migration is sometimes used as a political pawn, and policies are too often based on anecdotes or misconceptions,” said Uri Dadush, Director of the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group and International Trade Department. “By presenting the numbers and facts behind these stereotypes, this publication aims to paint a more objective picture of a crucial aspect of development.”

International migrants are mostly people who move voluntarily, but the World Bank noted that in 2005, there were some 13.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, comprising 7 per cent of global migrants.

The Factbook also found that the volume of South-South migration is almost the same as South-North migration.

It pointed out that smaller countries are more likely to have higher rates of skilled emigrations. For example, nearly all of the physicians trained in Grenada and Dominica have emigrated.

 

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