Migration and remittances
For many people throughout the region, especially in Central Asia, remittances help to alleviate poverty by contributing significantly to household incomes.
- With a 48 percent ratio of remittances to GDP in 2011, Tajikistan stands the world leader in remittance inflows (in relative terms) and Kyrgyzstan follows with 29 percent.
- The European Union, Russia and Kazakhstan are the main destinations for migrant workers, and the the source of remittances. Within the EU the main sending countries are Germany (about $15 billion remittances sent in 2011), followed by Italy ($13 billion) and Spain ($12 billion).
- More than $21 billion in remittances were sent from Russia to other countries in the region in 2011 while remittances sent from Kazakhstan reached $3.5 billion in 2011.
- Preliminary data for 2012 show that remittances from the Euro zone have been declining during the first half of 2012. Remittances sent from Spain are 16 percent lower than in the first half of 2011, and also Italy and Germany recorded a decline respectively of 14 percent and eight percent in the first half of the year compared to the previous year.
- Remittances sent from Russia and Kazakhstan continue to grow and recorded respectively a 17 and 19 percent increase in the first seven months of 2012 compared to the previous year.
Many of the world’s largest migration flows during the last two decades have occurred between the developing and transition economies of Europe and Central Asia. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, many people gained “freedom of movement” and the advent of new states and national borders also shaped new international migration flows.
Our data and analysis focus on international labour migration, the flow or movement of workers across national boundaries from their places of origin or home country (sending country) to the area of destination, or migrating country (receiving country). The flow of migrant workers is often accompanied by a flow of money (or goods) in the opposite direction, or remittances.
Explore the data
Our database presents high frequency data on remittance inflows and outflows in Europe and Central Asia for all the countries where these data are publicly available.
Remittance inflows: Europe and CIS (excel) - High frequency data on remittance inflows for 16 countries in Europe and the Central Asia. Remittance data estimates are calculated based on the data reported in the central bank balance of payments and the data base is updated twice per month.
Remittance outflows: Europe and CIS (excel) - High frequency data on remittance outflows sent from some of the main migrant destinations in the region including Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Kazakhstan, including annual remittance inflows and outflows data for the period 2000-2011 for more than 30 countries in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Bratislava, SLOVAKIA - 13 February 2012 - The bifurcated trends in remittances observed in 2010 seem to have continued in 2011. Preliminary central bank data from countries whose migrants work mostly in the Russian Federation, or with large diasporas in Russia, continue to indicate stronger growth in remittances this year than in countries whose migrants are mostly working in the Europe Union (new EU member states, Western Balkan economies).
Gender equality in the Caucasus
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