Even the World Bank is surprised by how much money Indians abroad send home

Home is where the bucks are.
Home is where the bucks are.
Image: AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal
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India’s overseas population is back to sending home huge sums of money—even more than what the World Bank expected.

In 2017, India received $69 billion in remittances, higher than any other country. This is also higher than the earlier World Bank estimate of $65 billion and marks a nearly 10% rise over the previous year, says a report released by the financial institution on April 23. In 2016, remittances declined nearly 9%. The 2017 figure is, however, still below the record of $70 billion received in 2014.

This stronger-than-expected growth was driven by faster economic expansion in Europe, Russia, and the US, the report said. The strengthening price of crude oil helped, too, as it favoured the Gulf Cooperation Council countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, which have a considerable presence of Indian nationals.

India has the highest number of residents living abroad, which helps keep the country at the top of the pecking order.

Overall, low- and middle-income countries like India received record overseas funds of $466 billion. The inflows to high-income countries improved from $573 billion a year earlier to $613 billion in 2017.

“The (remittance) upsurge is likely to continue into 2018..,” the World Bank report said.

Meanwhile, the monthly outbound remittances by Indians are also growing steadily and touched a record high of $1.2 billion in January this year. The amount is growing because more people are spending on international trips and foreign education.