What are IMF quotas

What are IMF quotas?

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.

How does the IMF use quotas?

General quota reviews 

The IMF's Board of Governors conducts general quota reviews quotas at least every five years. The two main issues addressed in a general review of quotas are the size of an overall quota increase and the distribution of the increase among the members.

First, a general quota review allows the IMF to assess the adequacy of quotas both in terms of members’ balance of payments financing needs and in terms of the IMF’s own ability to help meet those needs. Second, a general review allows for increases in members’ quota to reflect changes in their relative positions in the world economy. In addition, a member may request an ad hoc quota adjustment at any time outside of a general review.

If the Board of Governors determines that an increase is needed, it considers the amount of increase overall and how to distribute it among members. Any changes in quotas requires approval by 85% of the total voting power and a member’s own quota cannot be changed without its consent.


The 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 to in 2008.


IMF Quota review 

Latest review of quotas

The 14th General Review of Quotas was part of a package of reforms to IMF quotas and governance. It was completed in 2010 and became effective in 2016. The reforms represented a major step toward better reflecting in the institution’s governance structure the increasing role of dynamic emerging market and developing countries.

The 15th General Review of Quotas concluded in 2020 with no increase in quotas and provided guidance for the 16th Review. The Board of Governors concluded the 16th quota review in December 2023, approving an increase in quotas by 50 percent. The next step is for member countries to consent to their respective quota increases.

This page was last updated in December 2023