World Bank Report Reveals the Globe’s Top Locations for Expats

by Ray Clancy on April 23, 2015

The United States, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Russia and the United Arab Emirates are the most popular locations for expat workers, according to a new report by the World Bank.

It’s Migration and Development Brief shows that the top five remittance recipient countries, in terms of value of remittances, are India, China, Philippines, Mexico and Nigeria.

aworldOver five million Indian nationals are believed to be employed in the oil exporting states of the Gulf, the single largest group in a migrant worker population of more than 20 million. Migrants account for nearly half of the roughly 50 million population of the six nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

Using newly available census data, the reports estimated that the stock of international migrants was 247 million in 2013, significantly larger than the previous estimate of 232 million.

This means that if the number of migrants increases at an annual rate of 1.6%, the growth rate observed from 2010 to 2013, the stock of international migrants will surpass 250 million in 2015.

The report identifies Mexico to the United States is the largest migration corridor in the world, accounting for 13 million migrants in 2013. Russia to Ukraine is the second largest, followed by Bangladesh to India, and Ukraine to Russia.

Officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries are estimated to have reached $436 billion in 2014, an increase of 4.4% Flows to developing countries are projected to slow down to 0.9% growth in 2015 owing to a weak economic outlook in remittance source countries in Europe and Russia.

Flows are expected to accelerate in 2016, and reach $479 billion by 2017 in line with the more positive global economic outlook. Global remittance receipts, including by both developing and high-income countries, are estimated at $583 billion in 2014, and could rise to $586 billion in 2015 and $636 billion in 2017.

The report points out that remittances to several Latin American countries have been affected by the slowdown and high unemployment rate in Spain, which hosts a large percentage of all Latin American migrants. And remittances to Maghreb countries, where Europe is the main source of remittances, slowed in 2014.

Stricter migration rules in Russia have led to changes in the pattern of migration from Central Asia. The new rules, applicable to those seeking work from states that remain outside the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), reduced migration inflows by 70% during the 12 month period ending in January 2015, mainly from non-EEU states, including Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, according to official data from Russia.

The United States has increased the number of Border Patrol agents along the Southwest Border and the number of aircraft and ground surveillance systems to contain the number of migrants crossing the border from Mexico, including unaccompanied children from Central America.

As a result, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protections, the overall apprehension
Kaushik Basu, World Bank chief economist and senior vice president, explained how migrant flows can boost wealth. ‘Israel and India have shown how macro liquidity crises can be managed by tapping into the wealth of diaspora communities. Mexican migrants have boosted the construction sector. Tajikistan manages to nearly double its consumption by using remittance money. Migrants and remittances are clearly major players in today’s global economy,’ he said.

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