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Infographic | Remittances in Mexico Reach a Historic High

Jazmin Alguilar Rangel

2021 marked a year of historically high remittances to Mexico, with the country receiving over 51.6 billion dollars. In this infographic, Mexico Institute intern Jazmin Aguilar Rangel provides an overview of remittances to Mexico in 2021, details remittances on a state level, and shows their correlations with Migration.




Remittances to México growth and correlation with migration

In 2021, remittances to Mexico grew 27.1% from 40.6 billion dollars in 2020 to 51.6 billion dollars in 2021, marking a historic high. Globally, Mexico ranked the third-largest recipient of remittances in 2021 behind China and India.  Between March 2015 and March 2020, a total of 802 807 people emigrated from Mexico to another country. Guanajuato (62 476), Jalisco (60 587),  and Michoacán (50 770) were the main federal entities of expulsion. These states received US$5.2 billion, US$4.98 billion, and US$4.3 billion respectively. Along with the State of México (US$3.1 billion), México City (US$2.9 billion), Guerrero (US$2.6 billion), and Oaxaca (US$2.4 billion), these seven states netted almost half of the total remittances received during 2021. 

Remittances from the United States

Out of all the remittances arriving in México in 2021, 94.9% came from the United States. The state of California (33.2%) accounted for over ⅓ of all remittances with 16.25 billion dollars while Texas (15.9%) and Minnesota (7%) were the second and third largest sending states with 7.8 billion dollars and 3.4 billion dollars. In addition, the average remittance payment in 2021 grew 11.1%,  equivalent to US$340 total.

The importance of remittances for Mexico

Mexican households generally receive remittances once a month and spend them mainly on food, clothing, and family health care. Other uses of remittances include payment of debts, education expenses for household members, and the purchase of land, housing, or household goods. Remittances represent one of the main sources of foreign exchange, equivalent to 4% of GDP for the Mexican economy.   

Mexican migrant population in the United States

The Mexican migrant population, both documented and undocumented, in the United States grew to 11.9 million in 2021, 400 thousand more than in 2020. 1 in 5 Mexican migrants were employed in the construction section (20.9%). Other important sectors are professional and administrative services, manufacturing, and hospitality and leisure, each with more than 12% share. It is also important to note that 32% of remittances were sent by women in 2021. 

With migration to the United States continuing to rise, and the Mexican national economy still struggling to recover, in 2022 money transfers are projected to grow by 13.7%, amounting to a total of around US$58.6 billion dollars, according to analyst Gabriela Siller of Banco Base. 


About the Author

Jazmin Alguilar Rangel

Jazmin Aguilar Rangel

Intern, Mexico Institute
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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more