According to the World Bank, China has long been the country with the second highest receipt of remittances.  According to their most recent update of November 30, 2012, in 2012 it will receive an estimated $66B in personal money transfers, whereas India is forecast to receive nearly $70B.  But is China going to remain the second highest receiver of remittances for long?

Chinese emigration statistics the key to future remittances

As this LA Times article illustrates, there is a recent trend of wealthier Chinese leaving China for an improved quality of life – targeting the USA, Canada and Australia.   Along with the 2011 Blue Book migration data released by the Overseas Affairs Office  it points to a pattern of migration that will eventually be more in-line with China’s massive population.  This suggests that the growth over the next few years of remittances to China will be higher than expected and it may mean that money transfers to China could eventually outstrip India’s huge remittance total.  After all, the Chinese population is larger than India’s, and it could be only a matter of time before that is reflected in global money transfer totals.

Overseas Chinese student numbers pointing the way to the future Chinese diaspora?

The other factor is the huge growth in the numbers of Chinese students that now study in Oversea’s universities.  More Chinese than Indian students now study abroad as you would expect with China’s large population, rapid growth in GDP and culture of educational achievement.   Overseas students tend to require money transfers to their country of study, while they are studying.  But after qualification, if they do not return to China (as many do not) they quickly become net senders of money to China – whether repaying loans or simply sending money home to support family.While India is still the clear number one for remittances, it is possibly only a matter of time before the sheer number of people sending money to China means that China will be the leading receiver of money transfers before very long.

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