Glossary:Remittances

Remittances is household income being generated by economic activity in another than the home economy, which subsequently is transferred to or earned on the account of the household in the home economy. As a consequence remittances can be either based upon long-term residence in another country (usually combined with economic activity as migrant worker), or upon short-term work engagements as seasonal worker or upon permanent work as border worker without being resident of the host economy.

In the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) remittances are perceived as a cumulative measure building upon three aggregation levels:

  • Personal remittances cover the transfer of household funds in cash or kind and household assets to a non-resident household, usually situated in the migrant’s home economy (including donations to family, etc.), but also the net income being generated through employment in other economies, either as seasonal or border worker, or as resident with non-resident entities (e.g. international institutions domiciled in the resident’s home economy).
  • Total remittances additionally include social benefits, which were acquired by the above mentioned economic activities of households in other economies, e.g. pension rights.
  • Total remittances and transfers to non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) additionally include current and capital transfers of NPISH, such as donations in cash and kind, cross-border sponsorships, development aid programmes launched by public or private non-profit organisations (NGOs) in other countries.

Further information

Related concepts

Statistical data

Source