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    Migrants hard hit in cost of living crisis, finds survey

    Digital remittances company, WorldRemit, has released the results of its second Cost of Living index.
    Source: Supplied. Gbenga Okejimi, World Remit's country manager for Ghana and Nigeria.
    Source: Supplied. Gbenga Okejimi, World Remit's country manager for Ghana and Nigeria.

    The survey found that 82% of remittance senders, including Ghanaian migrants who are key remittance senders in the US, Australia, and UK markets, agreed that the cost of living for the people to whom they send money has risen since the start of the year.

    Highlighting the impact of inflation on people around the world, almost half (45%) noted they now only send money to immediate family, rather than friends and distant relatives.

    One in nine people worldwide rely on money sent from friends and relatives who have migrated abroad for work. With several factors contributing to increased financial pressure, new data showed that 72% of respondents in the US, 41% in Australia, and 44% in the UK have taken up a job in addition to their main source of income, with 27% of respondents on average across the three markets indicating they did so to support the increase in their own cost of living.

    Side hustles on the rise

    Of the respondents who cited having a side hustle, 89% reported that they would maintain their side hustle in the next 12 months.

    Households around the world are set to re-examine their spending habits in light of inflation, with more than a quarter of respondents (26%) saying that they are curtailing discretionary spending on entertainment such as dining out or going to the cinema or theatre.

    For example, in the UK, 65% of people noted concerns regarding the cost of utility bills, highlighting the change in spending habits of UK households as a result of the energy crisis.

    “The inventive solutions, such as side hustles, that we are seeing as a result of the current economic landscape point to the resilience of migrants and their commitment to financially supporting loved ones overseas,” said Gbenga Okejimi, World Remit country manager for Ghana and Nigeria.

    “These findings demonstrate the grit of economic migrants in adapting to wider financial stresses and the rising cost of living, while still meeting the needs of their families at home, and abroad.”

    The multi-country study was fielded in October 2022 to determine the ongoing effects of the increased cost of living on international money senders in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, resulting in observations from 2,687 international remittance senders.

    While there were minor differences, broadly speaking, first-generation migrants’ views were aligned with those of the overall sample in our survey.

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