Total Number of OFWs Estimated at 2.2 Million

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Based on the results of the 2019 Survey on Overseas Filipinos, the number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at any time during the period April to September 2019 was estimated at 2.2 million. Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract comprised 96.8 percent of the total OFWs during the said period. The rest who worked overseas without contract accounted for 3.2 percent (Table 1).

The proportion of female OFWs (56.0%) was higher than male OFWs (44.0%). The largest proportion of OFWs belonged to age group 30 to 34 years comprising 22.6 percent of all OFWs, followed by those aged 25 to 29 years with 20.7 percent. Moreover, female OFWs were younger compared to male OFWs. About seven percent of female OFWs were in the age group 15 to 24 years and 46.9 percent were in the age group 25 to 34 years, while the percentages of male OFWs in the said age groups were 5.4 percent and 38.6 percent, respectively. There were more male OFWs (38.1%) than female OFWs (27.0%) in the age group 40 and over (Table 1).

Two in every five (39.6%) OFWs belonged to elementary occupations. About 18 percent worked as service and sales workers. OFWs who worked as plant and machine operators and assemblers comprised 12.2 percent; technicians and associate professionals, 8.7 percent; professionals, 8.5 percent; and craft and related trade workers, 8.1 percent (Table 2).

The largest proportion of OFWs was from CALABARZON at 20.7 percent out of the total OFWs. Those coming from Central Luzon, National Capital Region and Western Visayas comprised 13.3 percent, 9.7 percent, and 9.0 percent, respectively. On the other hand, the smallest proportion of OFWs came from MIMAROPA Region at 1.5 percent (Table 3).

Saudi Arabia continued to be the most preferred destination of OFWs. One out of five (22.4%) OFWs worked in the country during the period April to September 2019. The other popular destinations were United Arab Emirates (13.2%), Hongkong (7.5%) and Taiwan (6.7%) (Table 3).

The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2019 was estimated at PhP 211.9 billion. These remittances included cash sent home (PhP 157.9 billion), cash brought home (PhP 46.7 billion), and remittance in kind (PhP 7.3 billion). The majority of OFWs sent their remittances through banks (58.0%) while the rest used money transfer (40.7%), agency or local office (0.6%), door-to-door delivery (0.4%), friends or co-workers (0.2%), or other means (0.1%) (Tables 4 and 5).

The remittances sent by OFWs to their respective families may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs. Data on remittances in this report are based on the answers given by the survey respondents to the questions on how much cash remittance was received by the family during the period April to September 2019 from a family member who is an OFW and how much cash did this member bring home during the reference period, if any. Further, if the family received during the reference period goods and products sent by this OFW, the imputed value of such goods was included in his/her total remittance (Tables 4 and 5).



National Statistician and Civil Registrar General


See more at the Survey on Overseas Filipinos main page.