IMF Quotas

March 25, 2020

The IMF is a quota-based institution. Quotas are the building blocks of the IMF’s financial and governance structure. An individual member country’s quota broadly reflects its relative position in the world economy. Quotas are denominated in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the IMF’s unit of account.

Multiple roles of quotas

Resource Contributions

Quotas determine the maximum amount of financial resources a member is obliged to provide to the IMF.

Voting Power

Quotas are a key determinant of the voting power in IMF decisions. Votes comprise one vote per SDR100,000 of quota plus basic votes (same for all members).

Access to Financing

The maximum amount of financing a member can obtain from the IMF under normal access is based on its quota. 

SDR Allocations

Quotas determine a member’s share in a general allocation of SDRs.           


Quota reviews

Size of overall quota increase

A general review allows the IMF to assess the adequacy of quotas in relation to both the members’ balance of payments financing needs and the Fund’s ability to help meet those needs.

 The IMF's Board of Governors conducts general quota reviews at regular intervals (no more than five years). Any changes in quotas must be approved by an 85 percent majority of the total voting power, and a member’s own quota cannot be changed without its consent. Two main issues addressed in a general quota review are the size of an overall quota increase and the distribution of the increase among the members.  

Distribution of the quota increase among members

A general review allows for realignments in members’ quota shares to reflect changes in their relative positions in the world economy.

Quota formula

A quota formula is used to help assess members’ relative position in the world economy and it can play a role in guiding the distribution of quota increases. The current formula was agreed in 2008 and a new quota formula is being discussed in the context of the 15th General Review of quotas.

(0.50 * GDP + 0.30 * Openness + 0.15 * Variability + 0.05 * Reserves)compression factor

15th General Review of quotas

The 15th Review provides an opportunity to assess the appropriate size and composition of the IMF’s resources and to continue the process of governance reforms to realign quota shares with members’ relative positions in the world economy, while protecting the poorest members. On December 5, 2016, the Board of Governors adopted a Resolution calling on the Executive Board to work expeditiously on the 15th Review in line with existing Executive Board understandings and the guidance provided by the IMFC, with the aim of completing the 15th Review by the 2019 Spring Meetings and no later than the 2019 Annual Meetings.

2010 Quota reforms

The 14th General Review of Quotas was completed on December 15, 2010 and conditions for the effectiveness of quota increases were met on January 26, 2016.

The 14th Review delivered a package of far-reaching reforms of the IMF’s quotas and governance.

Doubled quotas to SDR477 billion

Shift of quota shares shifted more than 6 percent of quota shares from over-represented to under-represented member countries; and more than 6 percent of quota shares to dynamic emerging market and developing countries.

Protection of the poorest preserved the quota and voting shares of the poorest member countries.