Remittances from foreign-born in U.S.: up 455% from 1990

Remittances from foreign-born residents in the U.S. to other countries in 1990 were $11.9 billion, $30.9 billion in 2000, in 2009 $48 billion, and in 2014, $54.2 billion. (For figures before 2014, go here, for 2014, go here). In 2014, $25 billion was sent to Mexico; $15 billion to China, over $10 billion sent to India, and $10 billion to the Philippines.

In 2113, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana introduced the Remittance Status Verification Act,” which would impose a fee on remittances made by remittance customers who wire money abroad but are unable to prove their legal status. The GAO analyzed the practical aspects of the bill here.

The best source of remittance data worldwide is the World Bank. Its 2016 report is here. The Bank reports the distribution of remittance income. Low-income countries receive 6% of all remittance dollars. Middle income countries claim about 70% of all remittance dollars. They include Mexico, China and India. The largest recipients in 2015 in descending order were all middle income countries. India, China, the Philippines and Mexico account for $192 billion or 44% of all $440 billion in remittances received (see the World Bank 2016 report). Higher income countries get 23% of remittances.

the Bank says that “At more than three times the size of development aid, international migrants’ remittances provide a lifeline for millions of households in developing countries. In addition, migrants hold more than $500 billion in annual savings. Together, remittances and migrant savings offer a substantial source of financing for development projects that can improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries.”

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