Western Union: Nearly 2 in 5 migrants living in Canada state that without being able to send money back home their family would be in poverty - Coindoo
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Western Union: Nearly 2 in 5 migrants living in Canada state that without being able to send money back home their family would be in poverty

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Jul 11, 2023
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DENVER, July 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — New research released today by Western Union has revealed that nearly 2 in 5 (35%) migrants living in Canada believe their friends or family would be in poverty if it wasn’t for them sending regular payments back home.

The report – The Value of Remittancelooks to shed a light on the real-world impact of remittance payments, finding that 40% of migrants believe that without being able to send money, their family or friends would not be able to afford medical treatment and 32% state that members of their family would not be able to attend school or further education. Forty-six percent went on to say that without their support, their family or friends back home would not be able to afford good quality food.

The study, which surveyed migrants living in Canada, demonstrates the positive affect that remittance payments have on families around the world. The report found that 61% of migrants believe that their families’ quality of life has improved vastly due to the money that they send and 60% believe that their family and friends have more opportunities in life as a result of their remittance payments.

How is remittance being used by families of migrants living in Canada?

On average migrants were found to send 9% of their annual income as remittance. With the primary reasons being to support their families with the cost of groceries (61% of respondents), healthcare (54%) and accommodation (33%). Ninety percent of migrants were found to have sent money to family back home in the past 12 months and 43% of migrants state that being able to send money to family back home was a key factor in their decision to move to Canada.

The most common uses of remittance amongst families of migrants:

  1. Groceries (61%)
  2. Healthcare (54%)
  3. Accommodation (33%)
  4. Paying off family debt (26%)
  5. Education (25%)
  6. Transport costs (15%)
  7. Paying towards family childcare (12%)
  8. Supporting a family members business (11%)
  9. Paying towards family wedding costs (11%)

The pressure of providing back home

The study found that amongst rising inflation, many migrants are struggling with the pressure of providing for their families and friends back home. Over half (57%) of migrant’s state that due to the rising cost of living, they have had to work extra hours or have started another job to continue sending remittance payments and 47% say that they have had to reduce the amount of remittance that they send due to rising living costs. Over a third (34%) reported that they were concerned about the possibility of losing their job in the next 12 months and the impact this will have on their families back home.

Top 10 countries migrants living in Canada are sending money to:

  1. India
  2. Philippines
  3. China
  4. France
  5. Pakistan
  6. Vietnam
  7. Germany
  8. Italy
  9. Lebanon
  10. United States

(Source: KNOMAD/World Bank Bilateral Remittance Matrix)

This pressure is having a profound strain on the mental wellbeing of migrants living in Canada. Over two-thirds (37%) state that the responsibility of having to support their family or friends can sometimes be too much to bear and over half (53%) of migrants say that they regularly make sacrifices in their own life to ensure that they are able to continue sending money to their friends or family. Thirty-six percent also reported that they often feel lonely, suggesting many migrants are prioritising work over building their own personal relationships.   

Despite this, nearly three-quarters (74%) of migrants of state that the fact that they are able to send money to their friends or family gives their life a sense of purpose and 46% of migrants say that without having moved to Canada they may not have been able to support their friends or family financially at all.

Bob Rupczynski, Chief Marketing Officer at Western Union says: “This research highlights the crucial role that remittance payments play in supporting families and communities around the world.

The money that migrants send provides an essential lifeline for their families and friends back home and at Western Union we recognise the immense impact that these payments have, providing access to basic needs, healthcare, education, and opportunities for a better life.

We are proud to help facilitate these important connections and to help power people’s pursuits all over the world. It’s our guiding mission to make finance accessible to all, so that we can all achieve financial prosperity, wherever we are.” 

For more information and to read the full report please visit: https://www.westernunion.com/blog/en/ca/value-of-remittance-canada/

Note to editors:

If you choose to run this story, please provide a link back to the Western Union page: https://www.westernunion.com/blog/en/ca/value-of-remittance-canada/


Research was conducted by 3Gem on behalf of Western Union in March 2023. The research surveyed 1,500 migrants who regularly send remittance across the following countries:













New Zealand




The top 10 countries for outward remittances were sourced from: KNOMAD/World Bank Bilateral Remittance Matrix 2021, December 2022: https://www.knomad.org/data/remittances

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments. Western Union’s platform provides seamless cross-border flows and its leading global financial network bridges more than 200 countries and territories and approximately 130 currencies. We connect consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments through one of the world’s widest reaching networks, accessing billions of bank accounts, millions of digital wallets and cards, and a substantial global network of retail locations. Western Union connects the world to bring boundless possibilities within reach. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com .

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