In 2019, annual remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are likely to reach $550 billion. That would make remittance flows larger than foreign direct investment (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA) flows to LMICs. In 2018, remittance flows to LMICs reached $529 billion, an increase of 9.6 percent over 2017. Remittance flows grew in all six regions, particularly in South Asia (12.3 percent) and Europe and Central Asia (11.2 percent). Growth was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation.
According to the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA 2017), the worldwide number of international migrants (including refugees) was 258 million in 2017. Updating the UNDESA dataset with recent data, it appears that the 2018 stock of international migrants (including refugees) could be around 266 million.

Migration and Development Brief 31