Bulgaria remains one of Europe's biggest recipients of remittances in 2010, according to the latest "Migration and Remittances Factbook" by the World Bank.
Based on the country rankings shown in the report, remittances to Bulgaria are estimated to reach nearly USD 1.6 B for the entire 2010, staying more or less flat over the previous year, when migrants sent home remittances to the order of an estimated 5.3% of GDP .
Remittances from migrant workers are a lifeline to large sections of the Bulgarian economy, particularly the retail trade and the housing market.
According to the World Bank, Bulgaria has one of the highest proportions of its population working abroad of any country in the world.
Approximately 1,2 million Bulgarians are currently based abroad, equal to 16% of the population.
The biggest Bulgarian communities are based in Spain, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania and Turkey.
Migrants are continuing to send sizeable sums of money to their home countries despite the economic downturn, with 2010 remittances totaling some USD 325 B, up by 6% over the previous year, according to the World Bank report.
The five countries receiving the greatest amount of money were India, China, Mexico, the Philippines and France, the World Bank said.