E.g., 09/30/2014
E.g., 09/30/2014

Remittances Glossary

Remittances Glossary

Primary school enrollment (percent of gross): Gross enrollment ratio is the ratio of total enrollment, regardless of age, to the population of the age group that officially corresponds to the level of education shown. Primary education provides children with basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills along with an elementary understanding of such subjects as history, geography, natural science, social science, art, and music.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Institute for Statistics. Link

Tertiary school enrollment (percent of gross): Gross enrollment ratio is the ratio of total enrollment, regardless of age, to the population of the age group that officially corresponds to the level of education shown. Tertiary education, whether or not to an advanced research qualification, normally requires, as a minimum condition of admission, the successful completion of education at the secondary level.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Institute for Statistics. Link

Foreign Direct Investment: Investment that is made to acquire a lasting management interest (usually 10 percent of voting stock) in an enterprise operating in a country other than that of the investor (defined according to residency), the investor’s purpose being an effective voice in the management of the enterprise. It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, other long-term capital, and short-term capital as show in the balance of payments. FDI includes inter-company debt.

Source: World Bank, Global Development Finance 2006, Washington, DC. Link

Formal inward remittances: Formal inward remittances are considered the sum of workers remittances, compensation of employees, and migrants’ transfers. Workers' remittances refer to transfers in cash or in kind from migrants to resident households in the countries of origin. Usually these are ongoing transfers between members of the same family, with persons abroad being absent for a year or longer.  Compensation to employees refers to the wages, salaries, and other remuneration, in cash or in kind, paid to individuals who work in a country other than where they legally reside. For example, the wages earned by seasonal or other short-term migrant workers (i.e., abroad for less than a year) would be included in this category, as well as border workers who work, but do not reside, in a neighboring country. It also includes wages and salaries earned by the local staff of foreign institutions, such as embassies and international organizations, and companies based abroad but operating locally.  Migrants' transfers refer to capital transfers of financial assets made by migrants as they move from one country to another and stay for more than one year.

Formal inward remittance data are taken mostly from credits to the balance of payments data file of the International Monetary Fund as reported by central banks.  Most central banks use remittance data reported by commercial banks, but leave out flows through money transfer operators and informal personal channels. Formal channels include money transfer services offered by banks, post office banks, non-bank financial institutions, and foreign exchange bureaus and money transfer operators.

Source: World Bank, Global Economic Prospects 2006, Washington, DC. Link

Formal outward remittances: Formal outward remittances are considered the sum of workers remittances, compensation of employees, and migrants’ transfers. Workers' remittances refer to transfers in cash or in kind from migrants to resident households in the countries of origin. Usually these are ongoing transfers between members of the same family, with persons abroad being absent for a year or longer.  Compensation to employees refers to the wages, salaries, and other remuneration, in cash or in kind, paid to individuals who work in a country other than where they legally reside. For example, the wages earned by seasonal or other short-term migrant workers (i.e., abroad for less than a year) would be included in this category, as well as border workers who work, but do not reside, in a neighboring country. It also includes wages and salaries earned by the local staff of foreign institutions, such as embassies and international organizations, and companies based abroad but operating locally.  Migrants' transfers refer to capital transfers of financial assets made by migrants as they move from one country to another and stay for more than one year.

Formal outward remittance data are taken mostly from debits to the balance of payments data file of the International Monetary Fund as reported by central banks.  Most central banks use remittance data reported by commercial banks, but leave out flows through money transfer operators and informal personal channels. Formal channels include money transfer services offered by banks, post office banks, non-bank financial institutions, and foreign exchange bureaus and money transfer operators.

Source: World Bank, Global Economic Prospects 2006, Washington, DC.  Link

Informal remittances: Informal remittances include all money and in-kind transfers that do not involve formal contracts, and are hence unlikely to be recorded in national accounts. Informal channels include cash transfers based on personal relationships through business people, or carried out by courier companies, friends, relatives or oneself. In addition, informal remittance systems include more advanced Hawala and Hundi systems that rely on a network of agents.

Source: World Bank, Global Economic Prospects 2006, Washington, DC.  Link

Gross Domestic Product: GDP at purchaser's prices is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources. Data are in current U.S. dollars. Dollar figures for GDP are converted from domestic currencies using single year official exchange rates. For a few countries where the official exchange rate does not reflect the rate effectively applied to actual foreign exchange transactions, an alternative conversion factor is used.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators.  Link   

Merchandise exports: Exports include all types of outward movement of goods through a country or territory including movements through customs warehouses and free zones. Goods include all merchandise that either add to or reduce the stock of material resources of a country by entering (imports) or leaving (exports) the country's economic territory.

Unless otherwise indicated, exports are valued at transaction value, including the cost of transportation and insurance to bring the merchandise to the frontier of the exporting country or territory.

According to the World Trade Organization, goods (merchandise) are defined as “physical objects for which a demand exists, over which ownership rights can be established and whose ownership can be transferred from one institutional unit to another by engaging in transactions on markets”. Thus, the recording of transactions should be based on the change of ownership principle.

Source: World Trade Organization, Statistics Database, Technical notes.  Link

Commercial service exports: Exports include all types of outward movement of goods through a country or territory including movements through customs warehouses and free zones. Goods include all merchandise that either add to or reduce the stock of material resources of a country by entering (imports) or leaving (exports) the country's economic territory.

Unless otherwise indicated, exports are valued at transaction value, including the cost of transportation and insurance to bring the merchandise to the frontier of the exporting country or territory.

Commercial service exports include transport, travel, communication, construction, insurance, financial, computer and information, other business, and cultural and recreational services, and royalties and license fees. It does not include government services.

Source: World Trade Organization, Statistics Database, Technical notes.  Link

Agricultural exports: Exports include all types of outward movement of goods through a country or territory including movements through customs warehouses and free zones. Goods include all merchandise that either add to or reduce the stock of material resources of a country by entering (imports) or leaving (exports) the country's economic territory. Unless otherwise indicated, exports are valued at transaction value, including the cost of transportation and insurance to bring the merchandise to the frontier of the exporting country or territory. Agricultural exports include processed and unprocessed food and raw materials.

Source: World Trade Organization, Statistics Database, Technical notes.  Link

Official Development Assistance: Grants or Loans to countries and territories on Part I of the DAC List of Aid Recipients (developing countries) which are: (a) undertaken by the official sector; (b) with promotion of economic development and welfare as the main objective; © at concessional financial terms [if a loan, having a Grant Element (q.v.) of at least 25 per cent]. In addition to financial flows, Technical Co-operation (q.v.) is included in aid. Grants, Loans and credits for military purposes are excluded. For the treatment of the forgiveness of Loans originally extended for military purposes, see Notes on Definitions and Measurement below. Transfer payments to private individuals (e.g. pensions, reparations or insurance payouts) are in general not counted.

Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Development Co-operation Directorate, Aid Statistics, DAC Glossary.  Link

Life expectancy at birth: Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators.  Link


For the purposes of the Remittances Tool, we used the following World Bank regional classification (Note: that the classification excludes high-income countries).

Latin America and the Caribbean: Includes Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Uruguay, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Source: World Bank.  Link

Middle East and North Africa: Includes Algeria, Djibouti, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza, and the Republic of Yemen.

Source: World Bank.  Link

Europe and Central Asia: Includes Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Source: World Bank.  Link

Sub-Saharan Africa: Includes Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Source: World Bank.  Link

East Asia and the Pacific: Includes American Samoa, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, the Democratic Republic of Korea, the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, Malaysia, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Northern Marinara Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

Source: World Bank.  Link

South Asia: Includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Source: World Bank.  Link