Bloomberg News

Overseas Workers Send $406 Billion Home, World Bank Says

November 20, 2012

Overseas Workers Send $406 Billion Home in 2012

A migrant worker stands in Victoria Park in Hong Kong. Photographer: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

Money sent back home to developing countries by migrant workers and overseas wage-earners such as domestic maids employed outside their own countries will increase 6.5 percent to $406 billion in 2012, the World Bank said in an estimate released today.

India is expected to receive the largest sum of officially recorded remittances, $70 billion, followed by China at $66 billion and the Philippines and Mexico, which are forecast to get $24 billion each, the World Bank said. As a portion of the economy, Tajikistan was the largest recipient last year, getting money worth 47 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, the Washington-based lender said in an e-mailed release.

Transfers are projected to keep growing even as handling costs averaged 9 percent in countries with available data and high unemployment in Europe combined with “hardening” attitudes toward migrant workers in some places, according to the bank.

“Migrant workers are displaying tremendous resilience in the face of the continuing economic crisis in advanced countries,” Dilip Ratha, manager of the World Bank’s migration and remittances unit, said in the release. “Their agility in finding alternate employment and cutting down on personal expenses has prevented large scale return to their home countries.”

“Remittances to developing countries are projected to grow by 7.9 percent in 2013, 10.1 percent in 2014 and 10.7 percent in 2015 to reach $534 billion in 2015,” the World Bank said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kasia Klimasinska in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at

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