Remittances: From America with love


Out of the top five countries that received the most remittances from the US, four are from Asia, according to the latest World Bank data.

Four Asian countries, namely China, India, Philippines and Vietnam receive the bulk of remittances from the United States. In all $133.5 billion in remittances was sent from the US to other countries in 2015.

China received US$ 16.23 billion, while India received US$ 11.74 billion in 2015. Philippines and Vietnam both received US$ 9.65 billion and US$ 7.65 billion respectively in the same year. Only Mexico surpassed these Asian countries with remittances to the tune of US$ 25.68 billion. Other top receiving countries included Nigeria, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, South Korea and Japan. The amount of money sent by migrants to their relatives back home in their countries could be more because not all cash is sent through banks and money transfer companies on which the figures are based.

The US is home to the largest number of migrants from developing countries; there are over 42 million immigrants in the country, making up around 14 per cent of the population. In 2013, more than 2 million Indian-born immigrants were living in the US, accounting for 4.7 per cent of the total foreign-born population, while the number of Chinese immigrants comprised 5 per cent of the overall immigrant population.

Asian immigrants arrive to the US mostly through legal means, for studies or work and often bear accusations of job stealing. Indian’s living in the US, hundreds of thousands of who got entry through the H-1B visa could be among the worst hit if US president Donald Trump tightens borders.  President Trump had last year claimed that Americans are living through the “greatest jobs theft” in history from countries like India, China, Mexico and Singapore.

Racking remittances worldwide is difficult because many countries do not track funds that are sent or received. However worldwide an estimated $582 billion was sent by migrants to relatives in their home countries in 2015, a two per cent decline from 2014, when the amount was $592 billion.