Remittance Recipients in El Salvador: A Socioeconomic Profile

Analysis of survey results from over 20,000 households

This analytic brief presents the results of a quantitative analysis of the socioeconomic characteristics of the beneficiaries of international remittances in El Salvador. The analysis is based on household survey data from the 2013 Encuesta de Hogares de Propósitos Múltiples (EHPM -Spanish acronym), which was carried out by the General Directorate for Statistics and Censuses (DIGESTYC - Spanish acronym) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of El Salvador.

The dataset is made up of 21,086 households (81,865 individuals) and is representative at the national, departmental, urban, and rural levels, as well as for the San Salvador metropolitan area and the country’s 50 largest municipalities. Some of the key findings of the brief are: 

  • About 1 of every 5 Salvadorans benefits from international remittances;
  • 70% of remittance recipients in El Salvador are women;
  • Female-headed households receive monthly amounts of remittances that are on average 32% higher than those received by male-headed households;
  • 94% of all recipient households report using remittances to cover daily consumption expenditures;
  • 79% of recipient households can be classified as poor or at risk of falling into poverty;
  • On average, remittances constitute 50% of the total monthly household income of remittance recipient households. This share is even greater among rural and female-led households, as well as households headed by old age persons.

About this Publication

By Keller, L. , Rouse, R.