Remittance growth strong

El Salvador's Central Reserve Bank (BCR) reported this week that remittances which Salvadorans outside of the country send back to their families in El Salvador grew strongly during the first five months of the year.    Total remittances so far in 2016 have been $1.84 billion, up 6.8% from the year before.   This is impressive considering that both the US economy and the Salvadoran economy are experiencing annual growth rates of 2% or less.

Just in the month of May, family remittances totaled $412 million, the highest total recorded for a month of May.    May is usually a month with high levels of remittance activity as Salvadorans abroad send money back for Mother's Day, according to the BCR.

The BCR also reported on the economic activity of Salvadoran born women living in the United States:

  • On average Salvadoran-born women in the US send back 20.8% of their income to El Salvador, a greater percentage than sent back by men.
  • 69%  of Salvadoran-born women in the US are in the labor force
  • 17.7% have some level of university studies and 5.7% have college degrees.
  • 19.6% of Salvadoran-born women in the US are naturalized citizens.
Remittances continue to be the economic safety net in El Salvador.   It's not a recipe for a country to develop and flourish when it depends on exporting its most productive citizens to generate those dollars.