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Remittance Recipients in Central America A Public Opinion Research Study June-July 2003


A. National Polls of Central America Region • 1,008 interviews were conducted with a representative sample of adults in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. A total of 3,024 interviews were conducted in the region. • The margin of error for each national poll is 3.2 percentage points. • Borge y Asociados conducted the field work for the poll in June and July of 2003. 2


Regions of Poll Honduras • Caribe – San Pedro Sula, Puerto Cortes, Tela, La Ceiba • Central – Guaimaca, Tegucigalpa • Oriente – Juticalpa, Choluteca • Occidente – Puerto Lempira

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Honduras

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Regions of Poll El Salvador • Metropolitana – San Salvador • Oriental – La Union, San Miguel • Central – Chalatenango, La Libertad, San Vicente • Occidental – Ahuachapan, Santa Ana, Sonsonate 5


El Salvador

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Regions of Poll Guatemala • Central – Guatemala City • Altiplano – Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango • Oriente – Chiquimula, Zacapa • Sur – Suchitepequez, Retalhuleu • Norte – Alta Verapaz, Quiche 7


Guatemala

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B. Remittance Recipients • A total of 685 remittance recipients were interviewed in the three Central American countries included in the study. • The overwhelming majority of remittance senders to Central America live in the United States. • The majority of remittance recipients in El Salvador have received financial help from their relatives abroad for more than five years. The majority of remittance recipients in Honduras and Guatemala have received financial help for less than five years. • The socio-economic level of remittance recipients in El Salvador is somewhat higher than the level of those in Honduras and Guatemala. 9


Country of Residence of Remittance Senders to Central America 4%

United States

Other countries

96% 10


How many years has your family member been sending you remittances? 29% El Salvador

16% 54%

Guatemala

Less than 3 years

49%

3-5 years

50%

More than 5 years

15% 34%

Honduras

19% 31%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60% 11


Type of Relatives that send Remittances 32% 27% Honduras

Brother / Sister

9% 16% 16%

El Salvador

Son / Daughter

31% 27%

6%

Husband / Wife

18% 21% 48% 9% 12%

Guatemala

Mother / Father

19% Other

19% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60% 12


Gender of Remittance Recipients in Central America Male 46% 54% Females

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Monthly Income Remittance Recipients 44% 25%

Honduras 18%

29% El Salvador

Less than $200

$200 to $400

41% 20% 40%

Guatemala

More than $400

32% 14%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50% 14


Education Remittance Recipients 57% Honduras

Grade school or less

16% 27% 46%

El Salvador

Some high school

19% 34% 53%

Guatemala

High school or more

15% 29%

0%

20%

40%

60%

80% 15


Age Remittance Recipients Honduras

47%

15%

18-35

38% 45% El Salvador

36-49

20% 34% 53%

Guatemala

50+

30% 18% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60% 16


Remittance Recipients in Central America Urban vs. Rural Urban 42%

58% Rural

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Region of Remittance Recipients Honduras 45%

42%

40% 35% 30%

28%

25%

20%

20% 15% 10%

10%

5% 0% Caribe

Central

Oriente

Occidental 18


Region of Remittance Recipients El Salvador 40% 35%

36% 27%

30%

23%

25% 20%

14%

15% 10% 5% 0% Metropolitana

Oriental

Central

Occidental 19


Region of Remittance Recipients Guatemala 40% 35%

36% 26%

30% 25%

20%

20%

17%

15% 10% 5%

1%

0% Central

Altiplano

Oriental

Sur

Norte 20


C. El Salvador receives approximately $2.2 Billion in remittances yearly • Twenty-eight percent of Salvadorian adults – approximately 1.3 million people – receive remittances from relatives who live in a foreign country. • The average Salvadorian remittance recipient gets money from their relatives abroad about 10 times per year. • The average remittance sent to El Salvador is approximately $170 dollars. 21


Do you receive remittances from family members in other countries? El Salvador 28% Yes

No 72% 22


How frequently do you receive remittances? El Salvador 70% 62% 60% 50% 40% 30% 16%

20%

22%

10% 0% Every 1-3 Months

Every 4-6 Months

Once A Year 23


How much money do you receive with each remittance? El Salvador $50 or less

24%

$51 - $100

34%

$101 - $150

21%

$151 - $200

11%

More than $200

11%

0%

5%

10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 24


D. Guatemala receives $1.8 Billion in remittances yearly • Twenty-four percent of Guatemalan adults – approximately 1.5 million people – receive remittances from relatives who live in a foreign country. • The average Guatemalan remittance recipient gets money from their relatives abroad about 8 times per year. • The average remittance sent to Guatemala is approximately $150 dollars. 25


Do you receive remittances from family members in other countries? Guatemala 24% Yes

No

76% 26


How frequently do you receive remittances? Guatemala 70%

64%

60% 50% 40% 24%

30% 20%

12%

10% 0% Every 1-3 Months

Every 4-6 Months

Once A Year 27


How much money do you receive with each remittance? Guatemala $50 or less

17%

$51 - $100

34%

$101 - $150

10%

$151 - $200

21%

More than $200 0%

14% 5%

10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 28


E. Honduras receives $800 Million in remittances yearly • Sixteen percent of Honduran adults – approximately 600,000 people – receive remittances from relatives who live in a foreign country. • The average Honduran remittance recipient gets money from their relatives abroad about 8 times per year. • The average remittance sent to Honduras is approximately $170 dollars. 29


Do you receive remittances from family members in other countries? Honduras 16% Yes

No

84%

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How frequently do you receive remittances? Honduras 80% 70%

68%

60% 50% 40% 30%

20%

20%

12%

10% 0% Every 1-3 Months

Every 4-6 Months

Once A Year 31


How much money do you receive with each remittance? Honduras $50 or less

17% 34%

$51 - $100 $101 - $150

10%

$151 - $200

21%

More than $200 0%

14% 5%

10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 32


F.

El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras receive approximately $4.8 billion in remittances yearly Do you receive remittances from family members in other countries? “yes� answers El Salvador

28%

Guatemala

24%

Honduras

0%

16%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

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30%


G.

A majority of Guatemalans and Hondurans receive their remittances through Western Union and other international cash remittance companies.

• Salvadorians are more likely to utilize the banking system in the remittance process. • Gigante Express is popular in El Salvador. • King Express is popular in Guatemala. • Western Union is popular in Honduras.

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How does your family normally send money? El Salvador Western Union

26%

Gigante Express

15% 6%

Other companies

Banks

34%

Other methods* 0%

19% 5%

10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 35

* Mail, couriers, persons traveling, etc.


How does your family normally send money? Guatemala King Express

35%

Western Union

33%

Other companies

12%

Banks

7%

Other methods 0%

13% 5%

10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 36


How does your family normally send money? Honduras Western Union

42%

MoneyGram Other companies

17% 5%

Banks

Other methods 0%

18%

3% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50% 37


H.

A large majority of Central American remittance recipients use the money on “regular / day-to-day” expenditures. How do you spend your remittance money? “Regular expenditures” answers

El Salvador

84%

Honduras

77%

Guatemala

0%

68%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100% 38


How do you spend your remittance money? El Salvador Regular Expenditures

Business Investments

84%

4%

Savings Accounts

4%

Education

4%

Luxuries 0%

2% 20%

40%

60%

80%

100% 39


How do you spend your remittance money? Honduras Regular Expenditures

Business Investments Savings Accounts

77%

4% 4%

Education

Luxuries 0%

10%

3% 20%

40%

60%

80%

100% 40


How do you spend your remittance money? Guatemala Regular Expenditures

68%

Business Investments

10%

Savings Accounts

11%

Education

Luxuries

7%

3%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 41


I.

A large majority of Central Americans emigrated to “improve their lives.” What’s the most important reason that people leave your country?

El Salvador

78% 19% Improve their lives

Guatemala

Honduras

Ecuador 0%

81% 13% 81% 17%

Send remittances

17% 83% 20%

40%

60%

80% 100% 42


J. Other Findings • Only about one-fifths of remittance recipients in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have a bank account. • Less than two-thirds of Central American remittance recipients know how to use an ATM machine. • About one-fifth of Central Americans that are now sending remittances had a job waiting for them in the United States when they left. • A surprisingly large percentage of Central Americans think that their national government should regulate the remittance process. 43


Do you have a bank account? Remittance Recipients Honduras

19% 79%

23%

El Salvador

76% No

23%

Guatemala

0%

Yes

77% 20%

40%

60%

80%

100% 44


Are you familiar with ATM machines and how to use them? Remittance Recipients 29%

Honduras

70%

Yes

37%

El Salvador

62%

Guatemala

0%

No

27% 72% 20%

40%

60%

80% 45


Did the remittance sender have a secured job when he left the country? 24%

Honduras

El Salvador

Guatemala

0%

72%

Yes

15% 82% No

18% 76% 20%

40%

60%

80%

100% 46


Do you think your national government should regulate the remittance process? Remittance Recipients 31%

Honduras

64% Yes 40%

El Salvador

60%

24%

Guatemala

75% 0%

20%

40%

60%

No

80% 47


The most important finding of our regional poll is that approximately 25 percent of the population of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala receives money from the United States.

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remittance recipients in central america: a public opinion research study  

results and analysis of a poll on remittance recipients in central america (guatemala, el salvador, honduras)