India Hits $100 Billion in 2022 Remittances, a Historic Milestone

Remittances 2022

The World Migration Report 2024 by the UN’s International Organization for Migration stated that in 2022, India, Mexico, and China received the most remittances. The Philippines, France, and Pakistan were also among the top recipients, and the list was released in Dhaka on Wednesday.

In 2022, India became the first country to receive over $100 billion in remittances, reaching $111 billion. Mexico followed with $61 billion, and China received $51 billion, slipping to third place. Factors like demographic changes and travel restrictions affected China’s position. Pakistan and Bangladesh also saw significant inflows of remittances.

In 1970, the number of international migrants was 84 million, accounting for 2.3% of the global population. As of mid-2020, approximately 280 million people, or 3.6% of the world’s population, resided in a country different from their birthplace.

The most significant migration corridor is from Mexico to the United States, with almost 11 million people. The corridors from Syria to Turkey and from Russia to Ukraine are also important, mainly due to civil unrest and invasions causing displacement.

According to the report, global international remittances rebounded from the decline caused by the pandemic. In 2022, migrants sent around $831 billion, surpassing the amounts sent in 2021 ($791 billion) and 2020 ($717 billion).

The India-UAE migration corridor ranks fourth in size. According to an interactive map by IOM, there were 3.47 million Indians in the UAE. The US had 2.7 million Indians, making it the sixth most significant migration corridor, and Saudi Arabia had 2.5 million Indians, placing it ninth.

The report doesn’t mention the top countries from which India receives inward remittances, but it’s likely to be from countries with a sizeable Indian diaspora. In 2022, the United States and Saudi Arabia were the top two countries sending remittances overseas, with outflows of $79 billion and $39 billion, respectively. 

Net migration refers to the difference between the number of people immigrating to a country and those emigrating from it. From 2010 to 2021, India had an estimated net outflow of over one million migrants, with a net migration flow of -3.5 million. Interestingly, despite having a significant diaspora of nearly 18 million in mid-2020 (1.3% of the global population), India ranked 13th as a destination country, hosting 4.5 million migrants (0.3% of the worldwide population).