India got most migrant worker money last year; leaves behind China, US, others

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Published: September 4, 2019 5:22 PM

With millions of Indians working in foreign land, India received most of the foreign worker money in 2018, as compared to other countries.

The country added $79 billion in 2018 thanks to migrant workers.

With millions of Indians working in foreign land, India received most of the foreign worker money in 2018, as compared to other countries. The country added $79 billion in 2018 thanks to migrant workers, World Economic Forum quoted data from the World Bank. However, that may not be surprising considering India also sends most number of workers overseas in search of work. In fact, India has seen out-bound migration of about 17 million people, according to data from the United Nations. After India, Mexico sees largest number of emigration, followed by Russian Federation. Also, most number of diaspora ends up in the United States of America, followed by Saudi Arabia and Germany. On the other hand, India ranks 12th on the UN list for number of immigrants.

While the $79 billion sum may seem a huge amount of money, the same is equal to just 2.7% of the country’ GDP, WEF quoted data from KNOMAD. Neighbouring China was the second in sweeping largest remittances, with $67 billion sent back by its 10 million overseas population.

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India may not be largely dependent on foreign money but there are certain smaller countries where high percentage of GDP is made up of remittances. For example, Kyrgyzstan received $2.5 billion from its migrant workers in 2017, but that comparatively small number was equal to over a third of the nation’s GDP. Nepal got $6.9 billion from its diaspora, a number which is a little less than a third of the country’s gross domestic product. 

In 2018, countries with low and middle-income enjoyed better amount of foreign workers’ money in 2018, according to a World Bank’s brief titled Migration and Development. The same report said that in 2018, the migrated workers contributed about 10% more than the previous year’s number. From $483 billion in 2017, remittance amount reached $529 billion in 2018. Globally too, remittances were higher from 4633 billion in 2017 to $689 billion in 2018. This includes in-flows of high-income countries as well. 

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