China, the most heavily populated country in the world, is also the biggest receiver of personal remittances. In 2015, residents received $44,445,297,190 in transfers from nonresident households and individuals. The majority of Chinese migrants, 64%, have gone to other Asian countries which are reflected in the origin of remittances. Around 62% of personal remittances are received from other Asian nations.
The Philippines are next on the list with $29,973,640,596 in personal remittances received in 2015. Remittances in this country make up over 8% of the gross domestic product. Half of all migrants from the Philippines go to North America for work, and 66% of remittances come from that region.
Remittances to Mexico have increased over time although the country saw a drop during the economic crisis between 2009 and 2010. Surprisingly, remittances have now surpassed oil revenues. Of all the emigrants from Mexico, 92% stay in North America going to the US and Canada. Nearly all, 99%, of remittances come from these two countries.
Pakistan comes in 4th place for remittances received with a total of $19,306,000,000. Remittances to this country increased slightly during the early 90’s and declined in the latter part of that decade. The amount increased by nearly nine times in the years between 2001 and 2010. Today, remittances account for slightly more than 7% of the GDP.
In Bangladesh, the $15,387,889,721 received in 2015 makes up 7.9% of the GDP. Here, the correlation between where emigrants go to work and where remittances originate is not quite as strong as in previous countries. Approximately 92% of Bangladeshi migrants stay within Asia, but only 70% of remittances come from there. Interestingly, only 5% of migrants go to Europe, but 18% of remittances originate there.
While Germany is the fifth largest remittance sender, it is also the sixth largest receiver. In 2015, the country received $15,362,079,258 which is a small portion of the GDP. From 2009 to 2013, remittances between Turkey and Germany changed direction. Money from Turkey to Germany significantly increased during that time. The majority of remittances here, regardless of origin, are generated by border, seasonal, and short-term work and represent 13% of all European personal inflows.
In Belgium, personal remittances account for 2.2% of the GDP and totaled $9,933,945,716 in 2015. This total represents 9% of all inbound remittances in Europe and originated from border and seasonal work in neighboring countries. Incomes from other countries allowed Belgium to eliminate its account deficits and even provided a surplus of 470 million euros.
In 2015, Italy received $9,517,018,087 in personal remittances. This makes up the same percentage of the GDP as in Germany, only .5%. Around 80% of inflow in Italy is received from outside the European Union. Remittances began to increase in 2012 during the global economic crisis. During this time, residents began leaving the country in search of employment elsewhere. During this time, expats and migrants living in Italy began receiving reverse remittances from their home countries.
Lebanon has seen significant changes in its remittance receiving pattern over the last two decades. Personal remittances increased in the early 90’s, decreased in the later half of the decade and from 1999 through 2004, slowly increased. They dropped off again in 2004 and then drastically increased from 2007 forward. As of 2015, total personal remittances received equaled $7,480,817,046.
Once a major remittance sender, the US has recently made its way onto the top 10 list of remittance receivers. In 2015, residents in the country received $7,088,000,000. This fact occurred largely as a result of “reverse remittances” during the economic crisis. Many immigrants living in the country were no longer able to send money abroad as employment opportunities were scarce. Instead, they relied on remittances from their home countries.