In terms of moving abroad for work there can be a sharp East/West divide. Expats from first-world nations frequently move abroad in response to more responsibility, generous benefit packages or the adventure of living and working in a foreign country.
However expats from developing nations often have rather different motivations; they frequently move to another country either because there are few jobs available in their home country, or because the handful of available jobs pay far worse than positions overseas. With families to support, many of these individuals have little choice but to move abroad. Once there, far from living the “high life” they work hard and regularly send large sums of money to their family “back home” to help keep their heads above water.
Now, a fascinating new study has begun to reveal just how big the world of global “remittances” really are.
The World Bank’s detailed study reveals that money flowing to developing nations thanks to expat workers amounted to an astonishing $436 billion last year alone. As if this was a large-enough sum of money, analysts suggest this is far from the potential peak. Based on current growth rates and international migration figures the World Bank suggests that this figure could reach $479 billion by 2017.
What has perhaps been even more interesting has been the rather more detailed breakdown of exactly where this money is going. A perfect example of this is just how much the recent economic problems in Spain have impacted Central America. Thanks to the shared language, many expat workers from countries like Nicaragua and Ma href=”https://www.expatriatehealthcare.com/country-facts/panama-information/”>Panama have travelled to mainland Europe to work in Spain. Rising unemployment now though is having a major impact, significantly reducing the remittances being made to Central American countries.
Workers from Central Asia have also lost out to this wealth of opportunities since Russia enforced new rules for non EEU workers.
In contrast to this India currently enjoys the highest level of remittances worldwide. This is largely due to the large numbers of Indian nationals employed in construction and oil mining in the Middle East; indeed Indians in the Gulf represent the single largest group of expats anywhere in the world.
India is far from unique, however. China comes in second place, whilst the Philippines comes in third place. The manner in which the majority of Filipino workers can speak perfect English can make them valuable workers in countries in the UK and US where they are welcomed with open arms. The top five countries benefitting from international expat remittances are rounded off by Mexico and, perhaps surprisingly, Nigeria.
It is interesting to note that while Nigeria is largely considered the largest and most valuable economy in Africa, the country still benefits handsomely from money sent home by workers overseas.