India has emerged as the top remittance-receiving country with Indians working across the globe having sent home approximately $62.7 billion (approximately 4 lakh crore) last year, according to a United Nations study. About 200 million migrants globally sent more than $445 million in 2016 as remittances to their families, the study said.

The study, ‘Sending Money Home: Contributing to the SDGs, One Family at a Time’, is carried out by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development. It covers a 10-year trend in migration and remittance flows between 2007 and 2016.

Besides India, China, Philippines and Pakistan received top remittances. The United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia were ranked as the top “sending” countries accounting for almost half of the annual flows.

“The money is spent on food, healthcare, better educational opportunities and improved housing and sanitation,” Pedro de Vasconcelos, manager at IFAD’s Financing Facility for Remittances, said. “Remittances are therefore critical to help developing countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

With 77 million migrants, Asia became the highest originating region and saw 87% increase in remittances in the last decade, according to the study. Of the 77 million migrants, 48 million of them have migrated within the region.

In 2017, an expected one-in-seven people globally will either send or receive more than $450 billion in remittances, the report added. “The small amounts of $200 or $300 that each migrant sends home make up about 60 per cent of the family’s household income, and this makes an enormous difference in their lives and the communities in which they live,” IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo said.