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Friday, February 25, 2011

CBO: Almost $48 Billion in Migrants' Remittances in 2009

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that migrants' remittances from the United States totaled $48.4 billion, according to a recently released study. This is nearly 70 percent more than official development aid provided by the U.S. government.

Moreover migrants' remittances from the United States has grown rapidly over the last two decades. In 1990, total migrants' remittances were $11.9 billion and by 2000, it equalled $30.9 billion. Between 2000 and 2009, remittances grew at an annualized rate of 5 percent.

Of the $48.4 billion in remittances, CBO wrote:

"$38 billion was personal transfers by foreign-born residents in the United States sent to households abroad, and the rest, about $11 billion, was the compensation of employees who were in the United States for less than a year."

It should not come as a shock that Mexico was the top destination for remittances with $20 billion.

The CBO found that the fee for remittances are declining. The key drivers for the lower transaction fees were technological progress and greater awareness among migrants about alternative ways to remit funds. The study reported that between 2001 and 2009 fees fell at a rate of 5.5 percent per year and 9.9 percent per year to Mexico and Columbia, respectively.

To read the report, click here.

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