Where remittances go

Remittances sent by Salvadorans living in the United States back to their families in El Salvador hit a record $2.55 billion in 2004. These remittances make up more than 16% of El Salvador's GDP.

A new poll from the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California sheds light on the reasons people send those funds back to their home country. While governments and development organizations hope that this large flow of cash might be channeled into development projects and investment, the reality is that most remittances are sent for basic human needs such as food, education and health.

As this table from the study shows, some 80% of family remittances go to basic family maintenance needs. According to the study, the average Salvadoran remitter sends back $1664 annually to support family in El Salvador.


David said…
I hadn't seen this, but it confirms other things I've heard from people who study these things, some of whom are also into pushing the idea of collective remittances.

Hey, what about your response to my question on the amnesty -- is there anything short of justice for past crimes that might help heal? It's a big question, much has been written, but I'm interested to know your thoughts.