Egypt ranks world’s 6th largest remittance recipient by $24.4bn in 2020: CAPMAS

Hossam Mounir
8 Min Read

Egypt’sCentral Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) has revealed that the country ranked 6th worldwide in terms of remittances received from its overseas workers, amounting to $24.4bn in 2020.

The data was issued as part of CAPMAS’ biannual journal on population, entitled “Population – Research and Studies”, with the latest issue including several analytical studies.

These studies included:

  • Monitoring migration indicators in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Internal migration between urban and rural areas of Egypt for 2017; 
  • Differences between immigrants and non-immigrants in terms of living standards of their families;
  • Female employment in light of the SDGs;
  • Delay in marriage in Egypt.

The following is a presentation of the objectives and the most important results of these studies:

The study to monitor migration indicators in the context of the SDGS aims to shed light on the monitoring and measurement of migration indicators. This comes in the context of the UN’s SDGs in Egypt, and its most important challenges by reviewing some of its aspects related to migration.

Egypt ranked sixth worldwide on the World Bank’s ranking of countries receiving remittances, recording $24.4bn in 2020. The figure represents 6.7% of GDP.

Remittances also grew during the first half (H1) of fiscal year (FY) 2019/20 to $13.7bn, despite the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), compared to $12bn in the corresponding half of FY 2018/19, reflecting an increase of $1.7bn.

The study on internal migration between urban and rural areas of Egypt aims to identify internal migration flow and its characteristics between urban and rural areas. These characteristics include identifying the volume of internal migration from rural to urban areas across the country, and vice versa.

It also looked into some demographic, social, and economic characteristics of rural to urban migrants and vice versa, and described the main reasons for internal migration during 2017.

The study showed that the main cause of migration from urban to rural, or from rural to urban areas for females were due to marriage, reaching 49.2% and 48.2%, respectively.

Work was the main driver for male migration, with migration taking place from the countryside to urban areas or vice versa, at a rate of 53.9%, or 33.3%, respectively.

A further study outlined the characteristics and effects of immigrants (and non-immigrants) on the living standards of Egyptian families. 

This study aims to find out the extent to which international migration contributes to significant financial and social benefits for migrants, their families, countries of origin, and destination.

It is noteworthy that remittances constitute the second largest flow of capital to developing countries. 

The CAPMAS study also aims to identify differences in standards of living between immigrant families with current or returning immigrants, and non-immigrant families. It used data from the National Survey on International Migration – Egypt 2013. 

By studying the proportions of current immigrants, returning immigrants, and non-immigrants according to the different levels of the wealth index, it was found that the proportion of current immigrants at the wealth index ranged between 19.1-21.9% in the second to fourth levels. The smallest percentage was at the lowest level of wealth at 16.3% compared to 19.1% for the highest level. 

For returning immigrants, their percentage increased at the highest level of wealth to reach 22.4% of the total returning immigrants. This may be due to the positive impact of immigration on immigrants who returned to Egypt, compared to immigrants who are currently still aboard.

The largest proportion of non-immigrants is at the lowest level of wealth at 21.5%, which increases the percentage of non-immigrants at the lower level by about 5 points compared to current migrants at the same level, which may also show the impact of migration somewhat on individuals standard of living compared to those of non-immigrants.

CAPMAS also reviewed the study of female employment under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. The study aims to shed light on female employment as part of this context, where work is one of the main variables that bring about a significant shift in the position of women in society.

It also noted that  women’s work is an essential part of a balanced economic system, but that female participation in Egypt’s labour market currently stands at only 15.3%. The study highlights the waste of an important human resource capable of contributing to the desired economic growth. 

The study concluded by saying that the highest proportion of females participating in the labour force is in the 25-29 age group. It noted that, in this age group, the level of participation rose from  17.4% in 2013 to 18.7% in 2019.

The percentage of married females working in paid employment reached 39.4% in 2013, and increased to 51.9% of all females working in paid employment in 2019. 

Moreover, there was an increase in the percentage of illiterate females working in unpaid employment for the family, reaching 71.8% in 2013, but then decreased to 55% of all females working in unpaid employment for the family in 2019. 

The percentage of illiterate females working in paid employment was 5% in 2013, rising to 7.5% of all females working in paid employment in 2019.

The study into the delayed age at marriage in Egypt looked at the distribution of the unmarried population (35 years old and above) according to age and gender categories.

The study aimed to show the characteristics of the unmarried population, aged 35 and older, in Egypt, as well as marriage trends according to the age groups of both males and females.

It examined the evolution of marriage rates in Egypt during the period between 2006 and 2019. It also identified some of the economic and demographic characteristics of the population aged 35 and older who have never married.

The study indicated a high percentage of those who never married, both among males and females in the age group 35 and above. It stood at 47.8% for males compared to 36.3% for females in 2006, compared to 39.1% among males and 31.5% for females in 2017. This percentage decreases by age increase among both males and females in both censuses for 2006 and 2017.  

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