It is no hidden fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the countries with a high number of expats working to earn a livelihood. With a vibrant economy and a vast amount of oil, Saudi Arabia had experienced a surge in development which resulted in a high demand for foreign labor. Most of these expats usually do not bring their families along and have them living in their home countries, while the expats work and send them money. This is known as remittance, and the KSA is number 2 on the global list of top countries from which remittance is sent. Here are a few facts about the sheer volume of remittance being sent across the globe;[irp]
1-America comes in at 1st in the most remittance sending countries, followed by the KSA at 2nd, and Kuwait at 3rd position.
2-It is estimated that an amount of $40.53 billion has left the country as remittance in 2016 alone. Source: Arab News
3-Average Monthly Transfer by an employee in Saudi Arabia is SR 1,440 ($384)
4-The annual foreign remittance from the USA which ranks at no. 1 is around $70 billion and foreign remittance from Saudi Arabia is $40.53 billion. It is a difference of 75% but if you compare the population of two countries. The population of USA is 300 million comparing to 30 million population of Saudi Arabia.
5-The top three beneficiaries from the remittance sent from the KSA are India at $12.6 billion annually, followed by Egypt at $8.55 billion and Pakistan at $4.5 billion.
6-The Saudi Economic Review by the National Commerce Bank reveals that Saudi Arabia along with Russia, are the cheapest countries to send a remittance from. South Africa, on the other hand, is the most expensive country to send a remittance from.
7-$401 billion or 75.8 percent of last year’s total global remittance was received by developing countries, such as India, China, and the Philippines.
8-A growth rate of 6.7 percent is estimated annually which will result in the $401 billion turned into $427 billion.
9-Globally India received $72.2 billion, with China and Philippines receiving $63.90 billion and $29.70 billion respectively in 2015. Remittances sent to the Middle East and North Africa combined stood at only $49 billion.
10-The global migrant workforce is estimated to be upwards of 192 million people, which is 3-4 percent of the world’s population.
However, due to the large volume of the migrant workforce, prices of basic commodities in the region where there are large numbers of migrant workers, has increased. This has not only become a problem for the migrants, but also for the residents. These basic commodities include Food, household equipment and furnishing and rental prices; Food prices are the leading category in price inflation with a 6.5 percent rise annually. Furnishings and household equipment come in 2nd at a 5.9 percent increase for the 2nd year in a row. Rental prices and property value have seen only a seasonal rise in prices, with Ramadan and academic holidays being the peak season for inflated prices. Despite this trend of rising prices, global remittance is expected to increase in the years to come instead of going down. Till there are developing or underdeveloped countries with a workforce and no jobs to provide them with, the amount of remittance will keep increasing.