Comparing Mexico’s Remittances to Every Other Country

Remittances are an important source of income for many countries, particularly in the developing world. Mexico is no exception, and the country has long relied on remittances to supplement other forms of income. This article seeks to compare the volume of remittances entering Mexico to those entering other countries around the world. It will examine the amount of money that flows into Mexico, the sources of these remittances, and the impact they have on the Mexican economy. By comparing Mexico’s remittances to those of other countries, the article will provide a deeper understanding of the importance of remittances for Mexico, as well as their role in global economic development.

Remittances are the funds transferred from people living in one country to those living in another. In Mexico, remittances are a particularly important source of income, as they provide vital financial support to families who might otherwise struggle to make ends meet. In 2018, remittances to Mexico totaled a staggering $35.5 billion, making it the second-largest recipient of remittances in the world. Most remittances come from the United States, with an estimated $30.7 billion sent in 2018, though other countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras also contribute significantly. The majority of these remittances are used to cover basic living expenses such as food, clothing, and housing costs. Beyond providing financial stability for individuals and families, remittances can also stimulate economic growth and development by providing a boost to local businesses and services.

What are Remittances?

Definition and Explanation of Remittances

Remittances are funds sent from one country to another. This is often done by individuals who have immigrated from one country to another and want to send money back home. The money is sent through a variety of methods such as bank transfers, money orders, or other money transfer services. Once the money reaches the destination country, it is usually converted into the local currency.

Comparing Mexico’s Remittances
Comparing Mexico’s Remittances

Background on Remittances and Mexican Economy

Remittances play an important role in the Mexican economy. According to the World Bank, remittances to Mexico totaled nearly $34 billion in 2018. This represents a significant amount of money, as it is nearly three times the amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Mexico in the same year. Remittances are especially important for Mexico since many of the country’s citizens are living abroad and sending money home. The funds sent from abroad help to support the Mexican economy, enabling families to purchase goods and services, contributing to local businesses, and more.

Mexico’s Remittance Situation

Analyze the current state of remittances in Mexico

Mexico is the world’s second-largest recipient of remittances from abroad. According to the World Bank, Mexico received $36.3 billion in remittances in 2019, the majority of which came from its citizens living in the United States. This amount makes up a substantial portion of Mexico’s GDP. Remittances also play an important role in helping reduce poverty and inequality in Mexico.

Remittances to Mexico have been steadily increasing since 2013, and the country has seen a significant growth in the number of remittance-receiving households. According to a 2019 report from the World Bank, there are over 14 million remittance-receiving households in Mexico, representing more than half of all households in the country. This is an increase of 16% compared to the previous year.

The amount of remittances sent to Mexico is also increasing. According to the World Bank, the amount of remittances sent to Mexico in 2019 was more than double what it was in 2013. Additionally, the World Bank projects that remittance flows to Mexico will increase by almost 14% in 2020.

Provide data and statistics to compare Mexico’s remittances to other countries

Mexico is the world’s second-largest recipient of remittances, behind India. According to the World Bank, Mexico received $36.3 billion in remittances in 2019, compared to $79.6 billion for India. This amount makes up a substantial portion of Mexico’s GDP, with remittances accounting for more than 4% of Mexico’s total GDP.

Remittances also make up a significant portion of Mexico’s total foreign exchange reserves. According to the World Bank, remittances were equal to more than 8% of Mexico’s total foreign exchange reserves in 2019. This is more than double the percentage of foreign exchange reserves that remittances accounted for in 2013.

Factors Affecting Remittance Flows

Economic Conditions:

Economic conditions are one of the major factors that can affect remittance flows to Mexico and other countries. The economic condition of a country plays a major role in determining the amount of remittances received. In Mexico, for instance, the economic conditions are affected by the country’s economic growth, employment rate, and interest rate. The economic condition of the country directly affects the amount of remittances sent by a Mexican citizen living abroad. If there is economic prosperity in the country, the Mexican citizen is more likely to send more money back home. In contrast, if the economic situation is unfavorable, the amount of remittances sent is likely to decrease.

Immigration Policies:

Immigration policies play a significant role in determining the amount of remittances sent to Mexico and other countries. Immigration policies are designed to control the number of people entering a country and the length of their stay. Immigration policies can either make it easier for people to enter a country or make it more difficult. If immigration policies are restrictive, it can lead to fewer people migrating to a particular country and therefore fewer remittances being sent. On the other hand, if immigration policies are more lenient, it can lead to more people entering the country and therefore more remittances being sent.

Recent Impact on Remittance Flows:

In recent years, the factors discussed above have had a major impact on remittance flows to Mexico and other countries. The global economic crisis of 2008-2009 saw a decrease in remittance flows to Mexico, as people were unable to find jobs abroad and also due to the restrictive immigration policies of some countries. Similarly, the improvement in economic condition of many countries in recent years has led to an increase in remittance flows to Mexico. In addition, the increasing number of people migrating to other countries has also increased remittance flows to Mexico.

The Impact of Remittances

Remittances have been proven to have a significant impact on the Mexican economy. These financial transfers from overseas workers to their families in Mexico provide vital economic support to millions of people. It is estimated that remittances account for around 3% of Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it the country’s third-largest source of foreign currency earnings, after oil exports and tourism. In 2020 alone, Mexico received $40.6 billion in remittances, which is around 3.8% higher than the previous year.

The impact of remittances on poverty reduction cannot be overstated.

The inflow of money into households often results in improved standards of living, including better access to healthcare, education, and housing. A 2019 study by The World Bank found that poverty rates in Mexico have steadily declined as remittances increased. Between 2005 and 2016, the poverty rate in Mexico fell from 46.2% to 41.9%, with remittances accounting for around 7% of this reduction. With Mexico being one of the most unequal countries in Latin America, remittances provide a crucial lifeline for many of the poorest communities.

Beyond poverty reduction, remittances play a significant role in the economic development of Mexico. They are often used by families to start businesses or invest in existing ones. The World Bank reported that 8.3% of households receiving remittances in Mexico used the funds to start new businesses, while 13.1% used them to expand their existing businesses. This entrepreneurial spirit sparked by remittances helps to create new jobs and diversify local economies.

In addition to facilitating entrepreneurship and reducing poverty, remittances have a ripple effect on the broader economy. The influx of money increases demand for goods and services, leading to job creation in sectors such as retail, construction and real estate. This, in turn, leads to higher tax revenue for the government, which can fund public infrastructure projects like schools and hospitals.

Remittance Trends and Future Outlook

Remittances have become an increasingly important source of income for many countries, particularly those in the developing world. According to the World Bank, remittances to low- and middle-income countries are estimated to have reached $540 billion in 2020, with Mexico being one of the largest recipients. In fact, Mexico received nearly $40 billion in remittances in 2020, making up about 3% of their GDP. This demonstrates the significant role that remittances play in many countries’ economies.

Comparing Mexico’s Remittances
Comparing Mexico’s Remittances

One trend that has emerged in recent years is the increasing use of digital channels for remittance transfers. Digital platforms have made it easier and cheaper for migrants to send money back home, with many providers offering competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the shift to digital channels due to restrictions on travel and in-person transactions. Therefore, it is expected that this trend will continue to grow in the future as digital technology becomes more accessible globally.

The future outlook for remittances largely depends on a range of economic and political factors. One major factor that will impact the flow of remittances is the health of the global economy. If the global economy experiences another major shock, such as a recession, it could result in reduced remittance flows as migrants may lose their jobs or have reduced income. Political instability and conflicts in certain regions may also impact remittance flows as migrants may be forced to leave their host countries. Furthermore, the increasing trend towards anti-immigrant sentiment and policies in certain countries may also impact remittance flows, as migrants may face greater barriers to sending money back home.


In conclusion, comparing Mexico’s remittances to every other country has brought to light the significant impact of remittances on countries and their economies. Mexico, being one of the largest recipients of remittances globally, plays a vital role in the world’s remittance market. The country’s immigrant population has created a constant flow of remittances that the country has relied on for economic stability and development.

While Mexico’s remittance inflows have remained high for many years, remittance flows to other countries have also been steadily growing. This growth is due to a significant increase in the number of migrants from developing nations who are working in other countries. This trend has led to more countries relying on remittances as a source of income and a means of development.

Despite the many benefits of remittances, they also come with their challenges. Among these challenges are the risk of dependence on external financial flows, the impact of exchange rate fluctuations, and the possibility of reducing the attractiveness of domestic investment opportunities. Additionally, the high cost of remittance transfers may reduce the amount that migrant workers can send back home, thereby decreasing their impact on foreign economies.

Nevertheless, remittances are a crucial source of finance for many families living in developing nations, providing support for household expenditures such as health, education, and housing. Furthermore, they contribute to the financial stability of several countries, help to sustain their economies, and often fill gaps in government financing in fragile states.


1. What are remittances, and why are they important for Mexico’s economy?
Remittances are funds sent by foreign workers back to their home countries. In the case of Mexico, remittances constitute a significant portion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making them a vital source of income for many families and communities.

2. How do Mexico’s remittances compare to other countries?
Mexico is one of the top recipients of remittances globally. In fact, it is frequently ranked as the third or fourth-largest recipient of remittances, after India, China, and possibly the Philippines.

3. What factors influence the amount of remittances sent to Mexico?
Several factors can impact the amount of remittances that Mexican workers send home, including economic conditions in both Mexico and the host country, the strength of the exchange rate, and changes in immigration policies.

4. What are some of the ways that remittances impact Mexico’s economy?
Remittances can have a significant impact on Mexico’s economy, as they contribute to increased consumption, housing, and business investment. Additionally, remittances can help to reduce poverty rates and stimulate economic growth at the community level.

5. What are some of the challenges of relying on remittances as a source of income for Mexico?
Relying heavily on remittances can create issues of economic dependence, while also leaving households vulnerable to changes in economic conditions or shifts in immigration policies. Additionally, remittances may reinforce existing inequalities, as they tend to be sent by a relatively small number of high-earning workers.

6. How have remittances to Mexico been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on remittance flows to Mexico, as many migrant workers have been unable to work due to lockdowns and layoffs. In 2020, remittance flows to Mexico decreased for the first time in more than a decade.

7. What are some of the policies that Mexico could implement to support migrant workers and their families?
There is a growing call for policies that support migrant workers and their families, including measures such as easing the process of sending remittances, providing financial literacy training, and expanding access to affordable financial services. Additionally, government investment in social programs and infrastructure can help to support economic growth and job creation.

8. How can Mexican families and communities make the most of remittances?
To make the most of remittances, families and communities can strive to use the funds strategically, investing in education, health, and entrepreneurial opportunities that can provide long-term benefits. Additionally, families can work to develop financial skills and build savings, to help mitigate the risks of relying heavily on remittances.

9. What are some of the ethical considerations surrounding remittances?
The use of remittances can raise ethical considerations, as they can lead to economic dependence and potentially reinforce existing inequalities. Additionally, the high fees charged by some financial service providers and the tendency of remittance providers to extract profits from vulnerable populations can also raise ethical concerns.

10. How can stakeholders work together to create more equitable and sustainable remittance flows for Mexico?
Sustainable remittance flows require collaboration among a range of stakeholders, including government agencies, financial service providers, and migrant communities. By supporting policies and initiatives that prioritize fair and transparent financial services, educational opportunities, and community development, stakeholders can work to ensure that remittance flows support long-term economic growth and wellbeing for all involved.

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