WASHINGTON, November 9, 2010 (AFP) – Migrants are continuing to send sizeable sums of money to their home countries despite the economic downturn, with 2010 remittances totaling some 325 billion dollars, a World Bank report said Monday.

The 2010 remittances represent a six percent increase over the previous year, said bank officials, who predicted a steady increase in the amount of cash sent home by foreign workers over the coming years.

The five countries receiving the greatest amount of money were India, China, Mexico, the Philippines and France, the World Bank said.

India received 55 billion dollars from its overseas residents while China received 51 billion dollars, and Mexico 22.6 billion.

The Philippines received 21.3 billion dollars from its residents abroad, while French nationals residing overseas sent 15.9 million dollars home.

The World Bank estimates that there will be another 6.2 percent rise in the amount of funds sent home by immigrants in 2011 to 346 billion dollars, and another 8.1 percent and in 2012 to 374 billion dollars.

Mexico is the country with the greatest number of citizens working abroad with 11.9 million, followed by India with 11.4 million, the World Bank said in its report.