The world’s 266 million migrant workers sent a record $466 billion to developing countries last year following two consecutive declines and the money bound for home this year is projected to increase to $485 billion, according to the World Bank.
“The overall recovery in remittances is better than we expected. It is driven by stronger growth in the European Union, the Russian Federation, and the United States,” the bank said in a statement. “The rebound in remittances, when valued in US dollars, was helped by higher oil prices and a strengthening of the euro and ruble.”
The countries with the largest inflows in 2017 were India with $69 billion, China at $64 billion, the Philippines $33 billion and Mexico $31 billion.
The largest outflows were from the US at $67 billion and Saudi Arabia at $38 billion, based on 2016 data.
The top destinations for remittances from the US — which has led the world in remittances for 35 years — are Mexico, China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The share of foreign workers, however, is higher in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar where about four out of every five workers is from abroad.