Indians Abroad send home money, more than anyone else! Says World Bank.


There always has been a never ending argument about whether people should go abroad to search for greener pastures. ‘Brain Drain’ is such a well known phenomenon in India that even a rickshawala maybe able to tell you what it means. Maybe for higher studies or just to earn more money, Indians have been going out of the country for years now.

And according to a report from World Bank, they have not forgotten their families back home.

The remittance received by India in 2012 is $70 Billion which is not just a huge number in itself but is the highest by any country. It is closely followed by China at $66 Billion. Last year the difference was less with China sitting at $57 Billion with India at $58 Billion.

Top 10 recipients of migrant remittances (US$ billion, 2012e)


Total remittance in 2012 is supposed to be $534 Billion including the developed nations as well. For the developing nations the figure is $406 Billion out of which $136 Billion is accounted by just the two major countries- India and China.

Remittance is supposed to increase at a pretty healthy pace as well in the coming years with reaching about $685 Billion in 2015. This is good to ears as it means that people are contributing more towards the development of their home country.

Now, a figure of $70 Billion is huge but in a country like India it is still not the end of the world huge. A fact from the report that I find very interesting is the top recipients of remittances in 2011, according to their percentage of GDP were-

  1. Tajikistan- 47%
  2. Liberia- 31%
  3. Kyrgyz Republic- 29%
  4. Lesotho- 27%
  5. Moldova- 23%
  6. Nepal- 22%
  7. Samoa- 21%

These countries are affected so much by the remittances that if out of a sudden it would stop, these countries might go in economic crisis. Tajikistan’s 47% is such a huge figure. Almost half of the country’s GDP depends on it people living outside the country.

Coming back to India, there has been a trend of “reverse brain drain” in the past few years. It is good to see that this has not affected negatively the remittances that are happening.

Also, according to World Bank, the unaccounted money that may be flowing in India may be much more. This means that people are who are living abroad illegally (not an insignificant number) is unaccounted for and overall the figure might be much higher than what World Bank has observed. Also, the figure has rose rapidly since 2006 ($26.9 Billion) to 2012 ($70 Billion). It signifies that since recession people have started sending more money back.

Indians have always been proud of the instilled family values. It was even considered a reason why India was able to survive the first onslaught of recession- habit of saving money by our elders!

These figures indicate that even people who go abroad try to maintain a healthy relationship back home. China too has a decent figure and shows that both these countries, despite all the difference, share a common platform here.

  1. sahil says

    By reading this article i understand that majority of money flow to India is people sending money back, is it so?

    if yes then we can assume why still people prefer working outside so they can accumulate money else in India its difficult to generate the money to live that standard of living

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