Nov 202010

There are millions of Mexican workers in the USA who send a sizable portion of their wages back to their families in Mexico. On a per person basis, Mexico receives more worker remittances than any other major country in the world.

States receiving the most remittances (highest value)

The ten states receiving the most remittances (by value). All rights reserved.

An estimated 20% of Mexican residents regularly receive some financial support from workers abroad. Such remittances are the mainstay of the economies of many Mexican communities, such as many rural areas in Durango, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Jalisco and Michoacán. Studies suggest that the funds sent as remittances are mostly spent on housing, food, clothing and durable consumer goods. A growing portion is being invested in education and small businesses. The corollary is that only a small percentage goes towards savings.

In 2008, remittances flowing back to Mexico exceeded $25 billion.The value of remittances fell slightly in 2009, according to World Bank figures, but are forecast to increase again this year. Only India and China, both with far higher populations than Mexico, have larger sums of remittances entering their economies.

According to figures published in The Economist (13-19 November 2010), remittances in Mexico are equivalent to 2.5% of the nation’s GDP. Mexico’s degree of reliance on remittances is greatly exceeded by the comparable figures of 22.4% of GDP for Lebanon, 11.8% for Bangladesh, 11.7% in the Philippines, 7.0% in Vietnam, 6.0% in Pakistan and 3.9% for India. (In China, remittances account for only 1.0% of GDP).

Related posts on this bog:

Migration between Mexico and the USA is the focus of chapter 25 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico. Ask your library to buy a copy of this handy reference guide to all aspects of Mexico’s geography today! Better yet, order your own copy…


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