As the world’s largest economy the US has been a dream destination for millions of migrants across the globe who are looking to level up their lives – both professionally and personally. It has also been the dominant player in global remittances, consistently ranking as the largest remittance sending country in the world, in recent years. In the year 2014, US remitted USD 130.851 billion in outbound remittances –comprising 22% of all global remittances – reiterating its position as a global remittance heavyweight.
US has the largest international stock of migrants in the world; as per 2013 estimates from the UN, more than 46.136 million migrants reside within the US, comprising 15% of the nation’s population. This pool of migrants comprises both international and domestic migrants; while expats comprise 35% of the total migrant population, a whopping 44% are migrants from within North America. This puts the US in a unique position as a major remittance sender, where both its international and domestic remittances are robust.
Source: UN Reports
Amidst the migrant population that resides within the US, Latin Americans and Asians form a huge majority. In a reflection of these numbers, Mexico is the largest receiver of remittances from the US, with an inflow of $24.4 billion in 2014 alone; US to Mexico is also the largest remittance corridor, globally.
It is a well known fact that a majority of these international money transfers are channelled into developing nations, thereby shoring up the home economies. Hence, US becomes a huge contributor to the development of these economies, especially in Latin America or the Caribbean. Available data points suggest that remittances to the Spanish-speaking LATAM countries have more than doubled in dollar value, when compared to the remittance figures in 2000. Countries such as Belize, Honduras and Panama, owe more than 80% of the remittances they receive to the US, while Costa Rica, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago attribute more than 60% of the received remittances to the US.
When the global economic meltdown occurred in 2008, the US remittance market saw a sharp dip owing to the loss of jobs that affected the migrant population. Latin American nations were the most adversely affected, with Mexico taking the biggest dip. However, as the US economy has recovered in the last few years, so has the remittance scenario in the country, with remittances to most Latin American nations stabilizing to their pre recession levels. The World Bank has predicted a growth in the US money transfer segment, albeit moderate, in the near future.
With US continuing to be the world’s largest economy that continues to attract foreign labour, the remittance market in the US is not likely to see a dip anytime soon. As expatriates continue to send money home regularly, the future is bright for the top remittance sending country in the world.