Nearly a quarter of immigrants transfer money to the countries where their families live

Nearly one quarter of households with a foreign background report to have transferred money abroad, predominantly to the countries where their parents, relatives or friends live. The share is highest among Surinamese households and they also transfer the largest amounts, as is shown in a survey on money transfers abroad conducted by Statistics Netherlands among the four largest groups of immigrants in the Netherlands.

Average amount transferred abroad by households, 2006


Surinamese households most generous

In 2006, an average of 24 percent of households with a foreign background remitted money to their families abroad. The average amount per household was 165 euro in 2006. More than 35 percent of people with a Surinamese background send money to their family and friends. With 225 euro, they also gave the highest average amount.

Other groups with a foreign background transferred considerably lower amounts. Turkish and Moroccan  households remitted amounts an average amount off 180 and 150 euro respectively. Households with an Antillean background were the least generous in 2006. Nearly 16 percent indicated they had transferred money to support their families. The average amount was 105 euro.

Proportion of households transferring money abroad, 2006


Income crucial

How much money people transfer to support their families partly depends on their incomes. Households living on higher incomes are likely to support their families more often and send higher amounts. More than 80 percent of amounts transferred do not exceed 1,000 euro.

Money transfers abroad by country of destination, 2006


Beneficiaries are mainly parents, other relatives and friends

Moroccan, Turkish and Antillean households most frequently send money to their parents, followed by relatives and friends. For Surinamese, it is the other way around. All groups contribute least to their current or ex-partner and to the dowry.

Jeroen Nieuweboer