Which countries sent the most OFW remittances?

Miguel Sevidal

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Which countries sent the most OFW remittances?
Almost half of global remittances come from the USA, which contributes $10.37 billion. Saudi Arabia significantly lags behind, with remittances of $2.52 billion.

MANILA, Philippines – Separated from their families and motherland, OFWs endure tremendous sacrifices in strange lands to provide for their families they have left at home.

OFWs also make an invaluable contribution to the country’s economy, accounting for most of the country’s net factor income from abroad (NFIA) through their remittances.

NFIA is the difference between what Filipinos earn abroad and what foreigners earn in the Philippines. The Philippines’ large NFIA makes up for its negative net exports.

According to The Philippine Star columnist Bobit Avila, the recent surge of the Philippine economy is due to OFWs. Avila also added that “the Philippine economy is still very much dependent on the remittances of OFWs.”

Below is a breakdown of OFW remittances by region and the top 10 sources of OFW remittances in 2014 based on data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Breakdown by region
Region Remittances, 2014
(in thousand US $)
Americas 11,167,883 46%
Middle East 5,334,472 22%
Europe 3,761,139 15%
Asia 3,545,271 15%
Oceania 510,260 2%
Africa 29,054 0.1%
TOTAL 24,348,078 100%

The leading source for OFW remittances is North and South America, accounting for $11,167,883,000 (46%), with $10,374,084,000 or 93% of these remittances coming from the world’s largest economy, the United States (USA). Canada contributes $650,910,000 (6%).

The Middle East is second in remittances, accounting for $5,334,472,000 (22%) – less than half of the remittances from the Americas. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates account for $4,240,328,000 or 79% of all Middle Eastern remittances. 

There are no remittances from the war-torn states of Iraq and Syria. 

Remittances from Europe are at $3,761,139,000 (15%), with more than a third of remittances worth $1,394,706,000 or 37% coming from the United Kingdom (UK). 

Nine percent or $335,451,000 of European remittances originate from troubled Greece, currently at risk of default and exit from the Eurozone if it fails to meet its obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Asian remittances worth $3,545,271,000 approximate 15% of OFW contributions. Remittances from tiger economy Singapore lead the way with $1,178,262,000 or 33%, followed closely by those from the world’s third largest economy, Japan, with $981,882,000 or 28%.

Nepal, recently struck by a major earthquake, has minimal contributions of $115,000 (0.003%). Indonesia accounts for $16,423,000 or 0.46% of Asian remittances.

Oceania remittances amount to $510,260,000 or 2%, with Australia and New Zealand contributing $494,367,000 or 97%.

Top 10 sources by country
Country Remittances, 2014
(in thousands US $)
United States 10,374,084 43%
Saudi Arabia 2,525,882 10%
United Arab Emirates 1,714,446 7%
United Kingdom 1,394,706 6%
Singapore 1,178,262 5%
Japan 981,882 4%
Hong Kong 694,095 3%
Canada 650,910 3%
Germany 490,971 2%
Australia 472,081 2%

Almost half of global remittances come from the USA, which contributes $10,374,084,000. Saudi Arabia significantly lags behind, with remittances of $2,525,882,000 or 7%. – Rappler.com 

Data obtained from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) 

Miguel Sevidal is a Rappler intern

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