Nicaraguans living abroad sent home more than $1 billion in remittances in 2012, the highest figure in the last two decades, according to the Nicaraguan Central Bank.
Remittances from Costa Rica totaled $182.6 million (18 percent), in second place after $553.4 million received from the United States. Nearly 55 percent of total remittances were sent from the U.S.
Nicaraguans living in Spain sent $57.9 million (5.7 percent of the total).
Last year’s total is an increase of $102.6 million (11.3 percent) compared to $911.6 million in 2011, the local daily El Nuevo Diario reported.
Remittances accounted for 9.7 percent of Nicaragua’s gross domestic product in 2012, and 9.5 percent in 2011, according to the bank.
Nearly one in five Nicaraguans live abroad, mainly in the United States and Costa Rica. Half of that number lives without legal residency.