NPR : News

Filed Under:

Immigrants Are Sending More Money Back To Less Poor Countries

More and more people are sending money from places like the United States to places like the Dominican Republic, according to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center.

Last month, my blog mate Kat Chow wrote about a New Jersey lottery winner named Pedro Quezada who sent a staggering $57 million of his winnings back to the Dominican Republic, where his family lives. Let's ignore the sheer dollar amount for a second to look at the larger global trend that Quezada represents: the growing amount of money flowing from high-income nations to what the World Bank classifies as "middle-income" nations.

Seventy percent of all "remittances" — the money that migrants send back to their countries of origin — goes to middle-income nations like the Dominican Republic, India and Mexico, according to a newly released Pew study that crunched numbers from the World Bank. (The World Bank classifies countries as middle-income if their per capita annual incomes fall between $1,036 and $12,615.) There are a few reasons for this: There are more middle-income nations in the world than before; those nations have more people in them; and more of those people are migrating to wealthier places.

Those immigrants are also heading to new destinations. In 1990, nations like Ukraine and India were among the countries with the world's largest immigrant populations. But they're not in the top 10 today, having been supplanted by places like the United Arab Emirates and Australia. (The United States had a far larger immigrant population than any country in the world, both then and now.)

But while those middle-income nations are getting a larger share of the remittance pie, that pie has been expanding — and fast. In the years since 2000, the amount of total dollars of remittances in the global economy has nearly tripled: it's now almost $529 billion. $529 BILLION.

Just look at that chart on the left (or above, if you're reading on a small screen).

Remittances to low- and middle-income nations are three times higher than the total foreign aid those countries receive.

Remittances are such a big part of the global economy that the World Bank considers them when it judges a nation's creditworthiness, as Pew notes in its report. The World Bank predicts the amount of money immigrants send abroad will grow to $700 billion by 2016.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Verdine White On 45 Years With Earth, Wind & Fire

Forty-five years ago, the band “Earth, Wind and Fire” introduced audiences to a new kind of funk--one that fused soul, jazz, Latin and pop. Bassist Verdine White talks to guest host Derek McGinty about breaking racial boundaries in music and how the band is still evolving.

NPR

The Case Against The Shirley Temple (The Drink)

Author and cocktail enthusiast Wayne Curtis wrote an article called "Shirley Temples Are Destroying America's Youth." He talks about why he hates Shirley Temples — the drink, not the person.
WAMU 88.5

What's Ahead At The Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention gets underway in Philadelphia, where Hillary Clinton will accept the presidential nomination.

NPR

Experimental Plane Sets Off On Final Leg Of Its Round-The-World Journey

It's the first time for a solar-powered plane to circumnavigate the globe. Now it's en route to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — and you can watch the journey in a live video from the cockpit.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.