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Remittances keep 3.5 million children  in school worldwide 

WorldRemit research shows that switching from offline into digital remittances could free up a further $825 million for education worldwide

London, 7th January 2019 - New research from digital money transfer service WorldRemit reveals that the $689 billion in remittances that migrants send back home every year keeps 3.5 million children in school worldwide.

These contributions slash the likelihood of children being left out-of-school by up to 40 percent.

The significant impact of remittances on school attendance and family education spendingwas calculated using data from UNESCO, the World Bank and the latest national surveys in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Pakistan.

These countries are four of the world’s major remittance-receiving nations where WorldRemit is present and where nearly 40 million children are not attending school.

Based on the average cost of goods in the sampled countries, “going digital” could also add further savings equivalent to 20 million school uniforms, 30 million school books and 16 million sets of school supplies for children in low and middle income countries.

Analysis by WorldRemit also found that switching from offline to digital remittances, which are cheaper than offline transfers on average, could free up an additional $825 million for families to spend on children’s education.

Dr. Gregory Thwaites, Research Director at WorldRemit, said:“As millions of children around the world start a new school year, we should not forget the children who don’t have access to that opportunity.”

“Our research shows the contributions of migrants are vital to 3.5 million children who would otherwise be out of school and switching to digital remittances could help maximise the impact even further.”

WorldRemit is a fast-growing fintech company founded in 2010, which specialises in the migrant money transfer market. Surveys reveal that education is one of its customers’ top priorities with many sending money home to support family, friends and community members.

Every month, WorldRemit customers complete over 1.3 million transfers every month from over 50 countries to over 145 destinations.

Visit the WorldRemit website for more information on how to send money with just a few taps on your phone.


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Note to the Editor

Research compiled by Dr. Gregory Thwaites, Research Director at WorldRemit, using a combination of UNESCO education statistics, World Bank remittance statistics, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda Living Standards Measurements Surveys or their analogues, and WorldRemit indicators.


  • UNESCO education statistics show that there are 220 million children out of school in lower and lower-middle income countries (LIC/LMIC).  We examined household surveys in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzaniaand Pakistan, and calculate that an average of 4% of school-age children1in these countries live in families which receive remittances. Applied to all low-income/low middle-income countries, this proportion is equivalent to 9 million children. We use the household surveys to quantify the relationship between receiving remittances and being out of school at the level of individual children and find that children are 40% less likely to be out of school if they are in households which receive remittances. This equates to 3.5 million children in remittance-receiving households in LIC/LMIC countries at a global level.
  • The World Bank estimates that the total value of international remittances was $689bn 2018. The average cost of digital remittances across the industry is 27% cheaper than offline remittances, according to World Bank data. If all remittances were digital, this would save $14bn, which would raise expenditure on education by $825 million based on 5.7% of household resources typically going to education in the 4 countries surveyed.