Remittance (migrants)

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As remittances or remittances or remittances ( engl. "Remittances," span. "Remittances", Ital. "Remittance") or remittances are money transfers from migrants referred to in their home country.

Often several family members live on money transfers from a relative from abroad. In many developing countries , these remittances make up a large part of macroeconomic output. It is not uncommon for this money to exceed the international development aid payments and foreign investments that flow into a country.

In economic terms, remittances are part of the transfer balance .


According to calculations by the World Bank, migrants worldwide sent US $ 529 billion to their respective home countries in 2012. This is more than twice as much as in 2000 and more than twice as much as is transferred to development aid worldwide. In 2012, more than 60 billion dollars each flowed to India and China alone . The actual sum is likely to be a lot higher. World Bank experts estimate that informal channels - e.g. , Via bus driver traveling family members or via the hawala -Überweisungssystem - get another 250 billion in the old country.

In terms of total remittances (in absolute terms), among the countries from which remittances to a home country were made, the United States always came first in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 and - by a considerable margin - Saudi Arabia. Arabia takes second place. Among the countries to which remittances were sent, India came first in 2000, followed by France ; in 2005 it was China, followed by Mexico and closely followed by India; In 2010 and 2015, India took the first two places, followed by China - at almost the same level and at a clear distance from other countries.

Transfer routes

The fees for such money transfers are usually many times higher than for transfers between industrialized countries. Providers are banks , savings banks and money transfer service providers such as Western Union or MoneyGram . However, the conditions of these providers are very different and the market is generally not very transparent. In order to change this, some industrialized countries are providing information on the Internet about the cheapest way to transfer money to non-European countries in a formal way. In addition, the remittances support the local currencies, as there is a trade deficit in many recipient countries.

The possibility of remittances back home depends on financial policy regulations. According to the political scientist Patrick Weil , immigration to France in the second half of the 20th century, which at that time would have been urgently needed for economic and demographic reasons, was prevented by the fact that living space on the French housing market was scarce and the transfer of foreign currency had been restricted . According to Pierre Guillen, this restriction on foreign currency transfers, which reduced remittances, was ordered by the Ministry of Finance against the will of the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Critics complain that the same services as Western Union or Moneygram, which migrants use for transfers, also use terrorists to transfer money, including transfers to the USA.

Effects on Developing Countries

Remittances generally have a positive effect on poverty and health, although they can have negative effects on willingness to work, education and economic growth.


  • Migration & Remittances Factbook 2008, World Bank 2008.
  • Ozden, Caglar and Schiff, Maurice (Eds.): International Migration, Remittances, and Brain Drain, 2005.
  • Munzele Mambo, Samuel and Ratha, Dilip (Eds.): Remittances: Development Impact and Future Prospects, 2005.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Incredible Development of Migrants' Money Transfers
  2. Billions from abroad
  3. World Migration Report 2018. International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2017, accessed on March 10, 2018 . ISBN 978-92-9068-742-9 . Pp. 30-32.
  4. Remittances to developing countries should become cheaper Report in the Spiegel from November 29, 2007
  5. Patrick Weil, La France et ses étrangers , p. 83, quoted from Heike Knortz : Guest workers for Europe: The economic history of early European migration and integration , Böhlau Verlag Köln Weimar, 2015, ISBN 978-3-412-50178-5 , P. 57 .
  6. Pierre Guillen, L'immigration italienne en France , p. 41 f. and p. 47, quoted from Heike Knortz: Gastarbeiter für Europa: The economic history of early European migration and integration , Böhlau Verlag Köln Weimar, 2015, ISBN 978-3-412-50178-5 , p. 57 .
  7. ^ Western Union and Moneygram: CIA monitors international money transfers. In: Spiegel Online. November 15, 2013, accessed January 13, 2018 .
  8. ^ Richard H. Adams, Jr. (2011): Evaluating the Economic Impact of International Remittances On Developing Countries Using Household Surveys: A Literature Review. Journal of Development Studies 47 (6): 809-828.