Migration and Development Brief

Dilip Ratha, Sanket Mohapatra, Zhimei Xu

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

After several years of strong growth, remittance flows to developing countries began to slow down in the third quarter of 2008. This slowdown is expected to deepen further in 2009 in response to the global financial crisis, although the exact magnitude of the growth moderation (or outright decline in some cases) is hard to predict given the uncertainties about global growth, commodity prices, and exchange rates. In nominal dollar terms, officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries are estimated to reach $283 billion in 2008, up 6.7 percent from $265 billion in 2007; but in real terms, remittances are expected to fall from 2 percent of GDP in 2007 to 1.8 percent in 2008. This decline, however, is smaller than that of private or official capital flows, implying that remittances are expected to remain resilient relative to many other categories of resource flows to developing countries. In 2009, remittances are expected to fall by 0.9 percent (or at the worst case, no more than 6 percent). Migration flows from developing countries may slow as a result of the global growth slowdown, but the stock of international migrants from developing countries is unlikely to decrease. Remittance flows from the GCC countries are likely to fall more than those from the US and Europe, affecting recipient countries in the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia.  

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