Which Latin American countries receive more remittances from abroad?

The total of remittances to Latin America increased 9%, probably due to the fear of Latinos to be deported

Which Latin American countries receive more remittances from abroad?




When Donald Trump was a presidential candidate, his threats caused alarm, especially in relation to migration. Trump not only promised to deport millions of migrants, but also to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and to have a tighter control of the borders. With his election grew the fear that he would fulfill with the proposal. Therefore, migrants from Latin American and other parts of the world began to take measures in this regard. The main one was the increase of remittances to their countries of origin.

Leer en español: ¿Qué países latinoamericanos reciben más remesas del exterior?

How much remittance money did Latin America receive in 2017?

The sending of remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean grew 9% in 2017, with the United States being the main issuer, followed by European countries such as Spain, according to data from the World Bank (WB). This figure reached 80,000 million dollars, a historical figure. However, if one takes IGNORE INTO account Trump's anti-immigrant policy, the numbers do not seem strange, because even though there are sanctuary places for migration, the generalized fear of the U.S. president still exists.

However, the World Bank warns that by 2018 the figure can increase an additional 4%, that is, grow up to 13% in just two years. This is a fact that reflects alarm, but at the same time shows that Latin American migrants are aware that they could return to their countries and they are preparing for it. Thus, migrants invest in businesses, real estate or simply save in their countries of origin, for they are preparing for an eventual return.

The other side of the coin is the importance of remittances for Latin American countries since they represent an essential part of their GDP. On the one hand, in the cases of Mexico and Colombia, they represent less than 3%. On the other hand, in cases such as those of the Dominican Republic they represent 7%, in Nicaragua 9%, in Guatemala 12% and in Haiti almost 35%, according to data from the WB. This makes them dependent on those resources, sometimes above their agricultural production or income from tourism.

You can also read: What consequences does Mexico face if it ends NAFTA? 

The World Bank highlighted the cases where the increase in remittances was greater:

  • Colombia is the Latin American country where the reception of remittances increased 15%, reaching 5,600 million dollars in 2017 with an anticipation of exceeding that figure in 2018.
  • Guatemala occupies the second place where remittances have increased the most, with a growth of 14% reaching 8,500 million dollars in 2017.
  • Honduras has the third largest increase in remittances, with 12% for a figure of 4,400 million dollars in 2017.
  • El Salvador and Nicaragua had an increase of 10% in their remittances, with figures of 5,100 million and 1,250 million dollars respectively in 2017.
  • The Dominican Republic had remittances for 5 billion dollars in 2017, with an increase of 8%.
  • Mexico is the largest recipient of remittances in the region with 31 billion dollars in 2017, with a growth of 7%. By 2018, the Mexican authorities have foreseen that these figures will grow at historic highs.

In the world, the situation is similar. The increase in remittances is vital for the economies of the world, where the increase is 7% on average, a figure similar to that of Latin America. Thus, the first three positions are occupied by China, India and the Philippines in terms of receiving remittances, followed by Mexico. In the case of Asian countries, the sources of remittances are different, since they come from Europe, the United States and even countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia.

For Latin America, the uncertainty increases with the Trump threat of imposing harsh taxes on remittances, which would significantly affect the most dependent economies such as the Caribbean and Central America, which account for 45% of the receipt of resources.


Latin American Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

Translated from "¿Qué países latinoamericanos reciben más remesas por parte de sus nacionales en el exterior?"

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