Thursday, April 09, 2009

Per capita remittances to Latin America, by country

Remittances to Latin America are likely to drop in 2009 from the year before. The following table shows the per capita dollars sent home by emigrants working in foreign countries in 2008, and also per capita remittance dollars received as a percentage of purchasing power parity for each receiving country:

CountryRemits per capitaRemits as PPP
El Salvador$527.198.50%


Dominican Republic$322.383.98%
Costa Rica$146.691.26%
Trinidad & Tobago$105.700.57%

In 2008, total remittances grew marginally from 2007, so this probably represents the maximum amount of money that will annually be received over the next couple of years.

Notice how although the issue of immigration primarily focuses attention on foreign Hispanics in the US, it is the African-descended nations like Haita, Jamaica, and Guyana (which is about one-third black) that economically depend the most on remittances. Generally, the smaller the contribution remittances make to a country's total GDP, the more desirable that place is. If I had to live in Latin America, I'd want to be somewhere in Chile. Failing that, either Argentina or Uruguay.

This raises the question of why the putatively most industrious migrants from the poorest countries should be allowed into the US in large numbers. We should take primarily from Western Europe and East Asia--those nations can spare these human resources!

The differences in the economic consequences of remittances are only in degree, however. All of these places share a support for open immigration to the US and Europe. Send out the restless types who might otherwise cause trouble at home and allow them to be taken care of at the receiving country's expense. In return, receive billions of dollars sent home to be circulated in local economies in addition to both greater cultural and greater political influence in the receiving country. What a deal!

Data are here.


agnostic said...

There might be enough info on the internet about the frequency of the African allele at the Duffy locus, in each of these countries.

It's a pretty easy marker of African ancestry. You could then plot per cap remittances vs. percent of country that's of African ancestry.

Anonymous said...

Now doubt the fall in remittances will be a major story in the NYT. I can see it now: "Remittances Fall, Hard Working Immigrants and Their Families Hit Hardest..."
We'll just have to Do Something, the usual suspects will say. maybe more immigration? Now doubt racism and anti-immigrant sentiment will be blamed as well. You heard it here first...

Steve Sailer said...

I presume the $5 billion per year going to Colombia is sent in bricks of $100 bills and is used to buy speedboats.

Steve Sailer said...

So, how many Jamaicans are in the U.S.?

Audacious Epigone said...


There are nearly 600,000 Jamaicans in the US.