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Members, quotas, voting rights

The IMF currently has 189 member countries, the Republic of Nauru having joined the Fund on 12 April 2016.

Every member country is assigned a quota based on its relative position in the global economy. IMF quotas fulfil the following key functions:

  • subscriptions: a member country's quota determines the maximum financial contribution that the country must make to the Fund. The country must pay its subscription in full upon joining: 25% in SDR or in a “widely accepted” currency (dollar, euro, yen, pound sterling, as well as the renminbi since October 2016), and the remainder in the national currency of the country;
  • voting rights: every member has basic votes1 (equally distributed among all member countries), and an additional vote for each fraction of the quota equal to 100,000 SDR;
  • access to financing: the quota also defines the amount of financial assistance a member country can obtain from the IMF (its access limit). For example, under the confirmation agreements (see section 5, below), every member country can borrow up to 145% of its quota annually, and 435% in total. However, access limits may be higher in exceptional circumstances and for precautionary instruments.

The IMF uses a formula to calculate quotas and determine the relative position of a given member country. The current quota formula is2:

 

Quota = (0.50*GDP + 0.30*Openness+ 0.15*Variability +0.05*Reserves)^K.

 

Tableau des quotes-parts et droit de vote

[1] After the 2008 reform, the number of basic votes was set at 5.502% of total votes. The current number of basic votes is almost triple what it was before implementation of the 2008 reforms. 

[2] The variables are defined as:

GDP = 60% market GDP and 40% PPP GDP; average over three years
Openness = annual average of the sum of current payments and current receipts (goods, services, income and transfers) over a five-year period
Variability = variability of current receipts and net capital flows (standard deviation from the centred average over three years, over a period of 13 years)
Reserves = official gold and currency reserves (monthly average over a recent year)
K = compression factor equal to 0.95

 

Updated on: 12/01/2016 12:00