More than 215 million people (3% of the world's population) live outside their countries of birth. Remittances, the money sent home by migrants, are three times the size of official development assistance and they provide an important lifeline for millions of poor households.
Officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries are estimated to have reached $351 billion in 2011, up 8 percent over 2010. The growth of remittance flows to developing countries is expected to continue at a rate of 7-8 percent annually to reach $441 billion by 2014. Worldwide remittance flows, including those to high-income countries, are expected to exceed $590 billion by 2014.