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Bulgarian migrant workers repartriate 800M euro yearly

Date: 29.02.2008

Bulgarian migrant workers send home roughly 800 million euro each year, according to a study by two think tanks, Agency for Socio-Economic Analyses and the Centre for Comparative Analysis, in partnership with the labour ministry and the UN Population Fund, as quoted by Dnevnik daily on February 25 2008.

The study covers only migrant workers who have no intention of settling abroad, its authors said. According to their survey, the average Bulgarian working abroad earns about 800 euro monthly, of which 360 euro is spent on food and shelter and 440 euro is being repatriated to their relatives.

Migrant Bulgarian workers spend an average 13.8 months before returning to the country. Around 384 000 Bulgarians have worked outside the country in 2002-2006, including 280 000 people still working abroad, the equivalent of 14 per cent of Bulgaria's labour force.

The background of the migrants varied greatly and did not appear to influence their likeliness to seek employment abroad, although people with previous experience working outside the country appeared more likely to leave again, the authors said.

Their study also showed a decrease in the number of people looking to emigrate, falling to 0.8 per cent in 2007, compared to 2.6 per cent in 2003.

The total amount of remittances from Bulgarians, including those who have settled abroad, reached 1.96 billion euro for the first 11 months of 2007, according to data from Bulgarian National Bank. The World Bank was more conservative in its estimate, forecasting a total flow of $1.8 billion for the entire year.


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