How do migrants feel when they initially move abroad to seek new opportunities? How do they adjust to their new lives? How do they maintain links with their families back home? What are their attitudes towards their new country of residence? What do they spend their money on? How do they contribute to the host and their home countries?
In an attempt to understand migrants in the UK and their remittance and spending patterns, we commissioned a survey with 250 migrants across the country. The survey has brought up very interesting facts about migrants and their remittance and spending patterns.
Millennial migrants are the most generous
One of the most interesting aspects of the survey revealed that millennial migrant workers were the most generous, sending more on average than those aged between 35 and 54. On an average two-thirds (66%) of migrant workers send up to £199 a month – and millennial migrant workers send on average £16 more than those aged between 35 and 54 (£202 vs £186).
Families are priority
Most of the migrants agreed that moving to the UK for economic reasons had worked out well – with two-thirds or 66% noting that their annual incomes were now significantly higher than before. Two out of three (60%) migrant workers claimed they are equipped to provide better financial support to their families through remittances which has helped elevate their economic status back home.
One in ten migrant workers (around 9%) in the UK live away from their children while 8% have had to leave spouses back in their home countries. Yet, on the flip side, 64% are relieved that they can support these family members after moving abroad. Interestingly, while it is spouses and children that migrant workers are leaving behind, the biggest beneficiaries of remittances from the UK are parents (54%), followed by siblings (10%). Spouses and children follow at 9%, with friends taking up the final top-five slot at 4%.
What the financial support provides
According to the research, 6% of migrant workers moved to the UK solely to financially help their families back home and a significant proportion of the money sent home goes in spend towards paying electricity and gas bills (25%), healthcare and medical costs (25%) and buying food and water (17%).
Migrants are highly confident about their future in the UK
The survey revealed that migrants are highly confident about their prospects; three quarters (75%) say they expect to remain in employment in the next two years, seven in ten (69%) are confident they will be able to continue sending money to their families. Highlighting the benefits of moving to the UK, two-thirds (66%) agree their annual income is now significantly higher thus resulting in more disposal income.
Migrant workers are also contributing to the UK
Not all money earned in the UK, leaves the UK. Migrant workers are also contributing to the UK, with the majority (62%) of workers’ earnings being fed back into the economy, and a fifth (21%) put into savings. When it comes to spending habits, rent and bills (31%) and food and grocery shopping (24%) make up over half of migrant workers’ expenditure.
For respondents to our survey, a move to the UK has opened up possibilities not otherwise available to them or their loved ones. And while they manage to support their families back home, they also boost local economic activity in their country of residence.
At Xpress Money, we salute migrants who work tirelessly to improve their prospects while supporting lives back home. We also believe that providing as many options as possible for convenient money transfers across the world is crucial, and we are working continually to do so.