NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Sending Money Home To Latin America

May 17, 2001

Immigrants living and working abroad send $20 billion a year to family and friends remaining in Latin America, according to a study conducted by an arm of the Inter-American Development Bank.

  • The amount already exceeds development assistance and is equal to nearly one-third of all foreign investment in the region.
  • The payments account for at least 10 percent of the gross domestic product in six countries -- Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.
  • Nearly $6.8 billion goes to Mexico each year -- followed by almost $1.9 billion to Brazil and $1.75 billion to the Dominican Republic.
  • The sums generally range in the lower hundreds of dollars per transfer -- with most persons sending money eight or 10 times a year.

It is estimated that cash remittances from migrants in the United States to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean alone will total almost $300 billion over the next ten years.

Source: Tom Carter, "Plan Will Make Sending Money Home Easy," Washington Times, May 17, 2001.


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