Migration and Development Brief

Dilip Ratha, Christian Eigen-Zucchi, Sonia Plaza, Hanspeter Wyss, Soonhwa Yi.

Thematic Working Groups
Data and Demographics
Remittances and Diaspora Resources
East Asia and Pacific
Europe and Central Asia
Latin America and the Caribbean
Middle East and North Africa
North America
South Asia
The World Region
  • Remittance flows to developing countries are expected to reach $414 billion in 2013 (up 6.3 percent over 2012), and $540 billion by 2016. Worldwide, remittance flows may reach $550 billion in 2013 and over $700 billion by 2016. These increases are projected in spite of a $10 billion downward revision in the data due to the introduction of the Sixth Edition of the IMF Balance of Payments Manual and the reclassification of several developing countries as high-income countries.
  • Remittance flows are expected to continue to increase in all regions and major recipient countries except Mexico, where flows may dip in 2013. Flows are expected to remain strong or even increase in several countries affected by weakening balance of payments, notably India, the top recipient of remittances in the world.
  • The global average cost for sending remittances remains broadly unchanged at just under 9 percent. However, there are anecdotal reports that many banks are imposing additional fees on beneficiaries receiving remittances. Also, some international banks are closing the bank accounts of money transfer operators because of money laundering and terrorism financing concerns.
  • As the development community debates the post-2015 development agenda, there is a case to be made for reducing migration costs, including the costs of recruitment, visa, passport, and residency permits.