Global Indians send maximum money home

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Mar. 21: India's estimated 5.7 million Indian workers abroad sent home $27 billion in 2007 to make India the top receiver of migrant remittances while the US was the main remittance source, according to latest World Bank data, reported the Times of India. In contrast workers from China ($25.7 billion), Mexico ($25 billion), the Philippines ($17 billion), and France ($12.5 billion) made up the rest of top five, the bank’s new Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008 said. For 2007, recorded remittances flows worldwide are estimated at $318 billion, of which $240 billion went to developing countries.

The US was also the top immigration country in 2005, with 38.4 million immigrants, followed by the Russian Federation (12.1 million), and Germany (10.1 million). Among low-income countries, India had the highest immigration volume (5.7 million), followed by Pakistan (3.3 million).

These flows do not include informal channels, which would significantly enlarge the volume of remittances if they were recorded, the World Bank said. “In many developing countries, remittances provide a life line for the poor,’’ said Dilip Ratha, senior economist, and author of the factbook with Zhimei Xu. “They are often an essential source of foreign exchange and a stabilizing force for the economy in turbulent times.’’

While international migration is dominated by voluntary movement of people, there were 13.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, about 7% of global migrants, in 2005. The share of refugees in the population was 14.3% in low-income countries — over five times as large as that in high-income OECD countries. The Middle East and North Africa had the largest share of refugees and asylum seekers among immigrants (60%).