Top 10 Countries Most Dependent on Remittances

232 million. That’s the number of people in the world who are considered international migrant workers. Or put another way, 3.1 percent of the global population.

Many of these workers have chosen to live in high-income countries in Europe, as well as the United States – a country where one in five choose to reside. Today, most international migration is related to seeking employment in other countries. And a large portion of those who are employed regularly send money (remittances) home to their country of origin.

World Bank report on Migration and Development released in April 2014  gives a more detailed picture of the current state of migration and the relationship with remittance flows. The World Bank also reported that in 2013 remittances to developing countries were estimated to have totalled $404b. That number was forecast to have reached $435b by the end of 2014. When remittance flows to higher income countries are included, that figure rises again and it could reach as much as $680b by 2016.

In some countries with developing economies, remittance inflows make up a significant percentage of the gross domestic profit (GDP). In Tajikistan, remittances received in 2013 ($3.58b) accounted for 42 percent of their GDP. This puts them at the top of the table for the country most dependent on remittances (see chart below).

Infographic: The Countries Most Dependent on Remittances | Statista

Find more statistics at Statista.

Number nine of the top 10 countries is The Gambia, a country in West Africa where remittance inflows account for 19.8 percent of GDP. In 2013, money transfers to The Gambia through Ria, amounted to 2.07 percent of their GDP, meaning that our services are making a genuine contribution to the country’s economic stability.

Ria has also played a role in the macroeconomic stability of six other countries, including El Salvador, where in 2013 remittances sent with Ria accounted for 2.91 percent of the country’s GDP. The other countries – Comoros, Senegal, Honduras, Guatemala and Togo – also received Ria remittances in 2013 which accounted for between 1.76 and 1.01 percent of their GDP, respectively.

The importance of remittances should not be underestimated. They have been likened to “dollars wrapped with care” and for some countries, they truly act as a lifeline.

Ria is not only in the business of money transfer, we are in the business of people and providing opportunities to those in developing economies. Our services help to deliver money which supports millions of people to exit poverty.

We believe in offering high-quality, affordable money transfer services to all our customers, many of whom are not always served by traditional financial institutions. And we do not underestimate how important the accuracy of our service is for the many households who trust us to deliver their remittances safely each month. It’s for this reason that we’re proud to be in a business which has the potential to serve some of those 232 million people worldwide, every month.