Migration and Development Briefs are prepared by the Migration and Remittances Unit, Development Economics (DEC). The brief aims to provide an update on key developments in the area of migration and remittance flows and related policies over the past six months. It also provides medium-term projections of remittance flows to developing countries. A special topic is included in each brief. The brief is produced twice a year.
Using newly available census data, the
stock of international migrants is estimated at 247 million
in 2013, significantly larger than the previous estimate of
232 million, and is expected to surpass 250 million in 2015.
Migrants’ remittances to developing countries are estimated
to have reached $436 billion in 2014, a 4.4 percent increase
over the 2013 level. All developing regions recorded
positive growth except Europe and Central Asia (ECA), where
remittance flows contracted due to the deterioration of the
Russian economy and the depreciation of the ruble. In 2015,
however, the growth of remittance flows to developing
countries is expected to moderate sharply to 0.9 percent to
$440 billion, led by a 12.7 percent decline in ECA and
slowdown in East Asia and the Pacific, Middle-East and North
Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The positive impact on flows
of a robust recovery in the US will be partially offset by
continued weakness in Europe, the impact of lower oil prices
on the Russian economy, the strengthening of the US dollar,
and tighter immigration controls in many source countries
for remittances. Remittance flows are expected to recover in
2016 to reach $479 billion by 2017, in line with the more
positive global economic outlook.