People emigrate from countries for lots of reasons, but a common one is to take advantage of work opportunities abroad. Working in countries with stronger currencies offers immigrants opportunities to send money home and improve their family’s lifestyle. Many people emigrate from their home countries and end up sending money back, which means countries with lots of emigrants end up receiving considerable amounts in remittances each year.
In 2015, India received $72 billion in remittances from emigrants. What’s interesting is, compared to other countries with lots of emigration, India’s emigration is relatively low compared to the rest of its population. India had only 192 emigrants per million people in 2013, one of the lowest ratios that year. The country as a whole still benefits from emigrants sending money back home.
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Last year, China received $64 billion in remittances. China’s wealthy tend to emigrate to other countries under investment visas, which may contribute to their remittances being so high. The highly educated and highly skilled citizens are also leaving the country to pursue opportunities elsewhere. The rest of the population doesn’t emigrate at the same rates, though, leaving China with a relatively low emigration rate overall.
On a monthly basis, Bangladesh receives an average of $1.2 billion in remittances. That region of the world is no stranger to migration. Bangladesh and surrounding countries have histories full of citizens crossing borders in search of work, especially labor-based work. Some of them leave for short periods to take advantage of economic opportunities, like construction, in other countries like Singapore.
Almost everyone who emigrates from Mexico heads to another spot in North America. More than 13 million people have emigrated from Mexico, and their common destination is the United States. These people often transfer money to Mexico annually, meaning Mexico receives more than $20 billion in remittances sent from its emigrants.
Recently, the Lebanese have been facing economic problems at home, which turns many Lebanese citizens to the prospect of emigration. Al-Monitor reports that it’s possible more than 50 percent of the Lebanese population already lives outside the country, a bad sign for an already struggling economy. According to the World Bank, Lebanon’s remittances accounted for 15.9 percent of the country’s GDP in 2015.
More than 4 million people have emigrated from the Philippines to other countries across the globe. Despite the fact that more people emigrate from the Philippines than immigrate to the Philippines, the country still receives a high amount in remittances each year. In fact, the Philippines receives around $30 billion in remittances annually.
Work and educational opportunities are a popular reason to emigrate, as is the chance to make more money to send home to provide a better life for family members. The economic impact of emigration and immigration is more complex than a country losing skilled workers or receiving billions of dollars in annual remittances, though they are interesting benchmarks for looking at the trend overall.