Remittances from Portuguese living abroad have stagnated in 2011, reaching 2,430 million euros (3,214 USD million), according to data released Tuesday by Banco de Portugal (BP), the Portuguese central bank.
The figures show only a slight increase (0.2%) in remittances over 2010, representing a new trend over the last two years.
Portuguese emigrant remittances had reached the highest level in 2001 with 3,737 euro million (4.9 USD billion) in transfers.
Angola is now the third major source of remittances to Portugal with 147 million euros (194 USD million) in transfers in 2011, an increase of 10%, well above the more traditional destinations for emigration, namely the United States (130 million euro/172 USD million), Germany (113 million euro/149 USD million), Luxembourg (68 million euro/ 90 USD million)) and Canada (40 million euro/53 USD million).
Yet the main source of remittances continues to be France and Switzerland accounting for over half of the values sent to Portugal in 2011 or 868 million euros (1,148USD million) from France and 681 million euros (901 USD million) from Switzerland.
Portuguese immigrants in the European Union countries continue to contribute with about half of the total remittances, but transfers decreased from 1,413 million euro (1,869 USD million) in 2010 to 1,354 million euro (1,791 USD million) in 2011.
According to the Bank of Portugal, in 2010 Portuguese immigrants worldwide sent home over 2,403 billion euros ($3,460 USD billion) — more 122.3 million euros ($175,7 USD million) than in 2009. It is estimated that over five million Portuguese live abroad.