Posted on by Anastasia R.

The Dominican Republic is a fast-growing, island nation in the Caribbean. As the largest economy in the Caribbean region, the Dominican Republic is a significant source of migration to the United States. Many US citizens today can trace their ancestry to the Dominican Republic, and the number of immigrants to the United States who hail from the Dominican Republic continues to increase steadily.

Impact of remittances on families

The 13% of Dominicans who live and work abroad are a significant source of income for their families back home. 17% of Dominican families rely on remittances from loved ones overseas to pay for daily necessities such as food and housing. The average monthly salary in the Dominican Republic is equivalent to around $409, which is but a mere fraction of the average monthly salary in the USA – $3258. A small amount of that, set aside as remittances, can more than double the household income of Dominican family in some cases.

Impact of remittances on societies

On a societal level, the impact of Dominican Republic remittances is apparent. 41% of Dominicans live below the poverty line. Fortunately, with the help of remittances, more and more Dominicans are becoming able to pursue an education, increasing the quality of the workforce and thereby helping Dominicans to improve the quality of their lives. Many Dominican families also put their children through school with the money received through remittances. This has had an undeniable impact on the literacy levels of the country.

Impact of remittances on the economy

Many domestic Dominican entrepreneurs and investors rely on the money they obtain through remittances in order to grow capital. It can thus be said that, without Dominican Republic remittances, the Dominican economy would not have been able to reach the growth rates that it enjoys today. 6% of the Dominican Republic’s Gross Domestic Product comprises of remittances from overseas citizens. This non-trivial amount is a testament to the importance of remittances and the role that they play.

The contribution of Dominican Americans

1.4 million Dominicans live and work in the US today, mostly on the East Coast of the US. They form the 5th largest Hispanic group in the States, and are a prominent minority. 71% of them send money back home on a regular basis. While the average amount remitted is $150, which may not seem like a lot, it is important to consider the difference in cost of living between the US and the Dominican Republic. 1 USD can buy only ¼ cup of coffee at Starbucks, but in the Dominican Republic, this amount can pay for an entire cup of cappuccino. Today, Dominican Americans still honor their homeland greatly, with many of them remitting money home on a regular basis.

Dominican Republic remittances have played a large role in the society and economy of the country. It is no exaggeration to attribute part of the country’s social and economic growth in recent years to the money sent back by overseas Dominicans.

Dominican Republic remittances inforgraphic

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