For the first time in 15 years, Jalisco has edged past Michoacan as the leading receiver of remittances from the United States, research from the BBVA bank has revealed.
Money sent home to this state reached $US4.1 billion last year, more than one-tenth of Mexico’s total of around $US40.6 billion, which, contrary to most expectations, was a record high – almost $US1 billion more than 2019.
The main recipient of remittances mostly sent by workers in the United States to relatives back home was the municipality of Guadalajara, followed by Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tepatitlan and Ameca. More than one-third of the funds originated in California.
As a source of income from abroad, remittances to Mexico exceed more than oil exports or tourism, and are second only to exports from the manufacturing sector. BBVA said the amount exceeds Mexico’s combined 2021 federal budget for the education, health, labor, welfare and culture ministries.
Analysts say the economic stimulus in the United States and restrictions on travel contributed to the higher figures in 2020. The biggest jump in remittances was seen in March, as the first dramatic effects of the pandemic were being felt.
BBVA Mexico explained that 98.9 percent of the funds were sent via electronic transfer, 0.7 percent were delivered in cash and 0.4 percent through postal or bank money orders. Non-banking institutions accounted for 77.1 percent of the collections.