Armenia Remittance Project

USAID/Armenia-Remittances to Armenia Project (2006)

PA Consulting Group

Barlow Der Mugrdechian, Armenian Studies Program

Lucy Erysian, Armenian Studies Program

Study Objectives
This study describes the formal and informal remittances to Armenia from the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, where approximately 1 million of the estimated 1.4 million Armenian expatriates in the U.S. currently reside. Specifically, the study area was defined as the six cities in the metropolitan Los Angeles area—Glendale, North Hollywood/Burbank, Hollywood, Pasadena, and Van Nuys—with the highest proportion of residents of Armenian nationality. The population of interest was individuals currently residing in the study area who sent remittances to Armenia in 2005.
The survey was designed to collect information on:
Characteristics, motivations, and intentions of senders—highlighting differences between senders using formal and informal remittance centers.
Characteristics of remittance recipients in Armenia, uses of the money, number of people that directly and indirectly benefit from the remittances—highlighting differences between remittances received through formal and informal channels.
Characteristics, operating processes, volume, and the total value of remittances.

Data Collection
Three data collection efforts were used:
Interviews to collect relevant Information About the Pricing, Fees, and Other Conditions for Remittance Transfers from Formal and Informal Centers
Personal interviews with remitters to Armenia
Telephone interviews with remitters to Armenia
Overall, interviews were conducted with 1,443 remitters to Armenia in 2005. The following presents some of the key findings from these interviews.

Remittances to Armenia
Sixty-four percent of all Armenian respondents who we approached to be interviewed indicated they sent money to Armenia in 2005. Nearly all households that sent money to Armenia in 2005 have continued to remit in 2006 (99%).
More than 85 percent of respondents indicate they send money to Armenia on a regular basis, and nearly half of all respondents have been sending money to Armenia from the Los Angeles area for 6 years or more.
A majority (72 percent) of the 2005 remitters reported sending $1,000 or more in total during the 2005 calendar year, and 11 percent of the remitters sent $5,000 or more during the calendar year.
While respondents were willing to disclose the total amount of money sent to Armenia in 2005, there were a substantial number of “don’t know” responses (27%) and refusals (15%) to the question asking what percent of their earned income was sent to Armenia. A majority (70%) of those who were willing and able to respond reported sending 10 percent or less of their earned income to Armenia in 2005.
Forty-one percent of the 2005 remitters indicated the total amount remitted in 2005 was greater than in 2004, with most of the remainder saying they sent the same amount of money in 2005. Eighty-five percent of those who sent more money in 2005 cited the Armenian Dram-U.S. Dollar exchange rate as the reason for increasing the total amount of remittances.