Top Football Leagues, MercadoLibre, and Remesas

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Latinometrics Weekly
Welcome to Latinometrics. We bring you Latin American insights and trends through concise, thought-provoking data visualizations. It’s great to have you on board.
Today’s charts
  1. Latin American players in the world’s top soccer leagues
  2. MercadoPago outpaces MercadoLibre’s marketplace
  3. Remittances (remesas) as % of GDP
Our Bolivia chart reached Reddit’s front page this week! Make sure you check out the comment of the week at the bottom of this newsletter.

Sports ⚽
Latin American Players in Top European & US Football Leagues
Latin American Players in Top European & US Football Leagues
With the World Cup coming up later this year, it seems fitting to wonder how many Latin Americans play in the top European and US football leagues. So, we decided to chart the data.
The answer is a lot. According to data from SoccerWay, there are 653 players from Latin America in the eight leagues seen on the chart. 30% of them play in the US, the highest country. These are the highest-paid Latin Americans in the leagues as mentioned above:
  • USA MLS: 🇲🇽 Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC)
  • Portugal Primeira Liga: 🇧🇷 Everton Sousa Soares (Benfica)
  • Spain La Liga: 🇧🇷 Marcelo (Real Madrid)
  • Italy Serie A: 🇦🇷 Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
  • UK Premier League: 🇺🇾 Edinson Cavani (Man. United)
  • France Ligue 1: 🇦🇷 Lionel Messi (PSG)
  • Germany Bundesliga: 🇦🇷 Lucas Alario
  • Netherland’s Eredivisie: 🇦🇷 Nicolás Tagliafico
Fintech 🏦
MercadoPago Has Become MercadoLibre's Biggest Business
MercadoPago Has Become MercadoLibre's Biggest Business
You can now think of MercadoLibre as a Fintech business and a pioneer in the field. Its top product nowadays is MercadoPago. The service started as a solution for the largely unbanked population of Argentina (and Latin America) to pay for things on MercadoLibre’s marketplace. Its payments solution was exceptionally early; it was launched in 2003, just four years after the company’s founding.
The payments division has evolved outside of MercadoLibre’s marketplace by pioneering a wide range of features that are now more widespread in the industry:
  • Ensuring payments for both businesses and consumers
  • Quick debit card account openings
  • Deposits in convenience stores
  • Payments with QR codes
  • Extending credits
In other words, MercadoPago was Fintech before Fintech was cool — according to Google Trends, the term “fintech” started getting big until 2015.
Economy 📈
How Much Money do Latin Americans Abroad Send Home?
How Much Money do Latin Americans Abroad Send Home?
Remittances or “remesas” are payments sent from people earning an income abroad back to their home country. There’s an admirable quality to the act of sending remittances. These payments are often sent from hardworking people in the US to support their communities and families.
You’ll notice a trend on the chart: for the most part, countries farther south from the US receive a lower share of remittances in terms of their GDP. 24% of El Salvador’s economy consists of remittance payments.
The most notable exception to the trend is Mexico. Despite receiving an astronomical $42.9 billion in 2020 and being the closest neighbor to the US, it receives remittances that account for only 4% of its GDP. That’s because the country has a diverse economy that pulls its weight through industries like manufacturing, petroleum, and tourism.
All combined, the countries on the chart received a total of almost $100B in 2020. For 2021, the World Bank reported a 21.6% increase in the region.
That’s all for this week 👋
Want more?
Here’s the comment of the week. It came from our Netflix chart on Reddit:
Comment of the week
Comment of the week
Join the discussion on social media, where we’ll be posting today’s charts throughout the week. Follow us on TwitterLinkedInInstagram, or Facebook. We also opened a Telegram channel.
Feedback or chart suggestions? Reply to this email, and we’ll get back to you by the end of the day.
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