• Germany's news in English

Migrant workers send $14 billion back home

Emma Anderson · 15 Jun 2015, 17:43

Published: 15 Jun 2015 17:43 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jun 2015 17:43 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Germany was one of the top countries in Europe for the amount of money that migrant workers sent back home in remittances, according to a report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Remittance payments refer to regular payments that migrant workers send back to their families in their home countries. The report said that this money usually covers "basic goods, such as food, clothing, shelter, medicine and education".

"Remittance payments can make up 50 percent of a family's income - at the least," explained Pedro de Vasconcelos, head of the IFAD remittances programme, to The Local. "They need this money in order to sustain the family, send kids to school, have shelter and food. And hopefully have some to save and invest."

Germany ranked behind Russia ($20.6 billion) and the United Kingdom ($17.1 billion) for the most money sent outside the country by migrant workers, followed by France ($10.5 billion) and Italy ($10.4 billion). 

Unlike the other countries in the report, Germany saw migrant workers sending the largest portion of money to other European states. 
Poland was the main recipient of funds from German migrant workers at $2.3 billion, followed by Lebanon and Hungary, which each received nearly $1 billion.
Meanwhile, the strong migration links between Turkey and Germany were reflected by the fact that 48 percent of remittance money arriving in Turkey came from Germany. In Kosovo this proportion was second highest.
Still, De Vasconcelos told The Local that the relationship between Turkey and Germany has changed over time since a 1960s "guest worker" programme between the two countries ushered in a wave of Turkish migrant workers.
De Vasconcelos said that while a decade ago Turkey received about $7 billion in remittance money from Germany, it now takes in roughly half a billion euros.
"Some Turks have returned, and for others the ties with families have changed," he said. "This is one example that shows the impact of Germany on Turkey and its development over decades."
Top Countries Where German Migrants Sent Money
Story continues below…
Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development.

The report said that though the amount of money sent by migrant workers to families outside of the country might seem high, these payments did not result in a "significant outflow of wealth".

The $14 billion sent to families from German workers accounted for just 0.38 percent of Germany's GDP (gross domestic product).

In total European migrant workers sent home $109.4 billion, which helped to support more than 150 million people across the globe, the report said.

One-third of this money went to countries within Europe, especially to Ukraine, Poland and Romania.

Most immigrants sent between $1,500 and $3,200 in the entire year.

The report calls for efforts to lower the costs migrants face in transferring funds to loved ones, which eat up about $2.5 billion in transfer fees each year for European migrants.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Anderson (emma.anderson@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd