Remittances from Mexicans living abroad climbed 8.1 percent in April 2012 compared with the same month in 2011, Mexico's central bank said Wednesday.

Expats sent a total of $2.02 billion home to Mexico that month, up from $1.87 billion during the same month in 2011, according to figures compiled by Banco de Mexico.

The number of transactions also rose from April 2011, climbing 7.6 percent to 6,085.

Remittances fell 2.65 percent in April from the level of March this year.

The median transfer in the first quarter was $332.88, down 3 percent from the $343.51 sent in April 2011.

Remittances are Mexico's second-largest source of foreign exchange and help cover the living expenses of millions of households.

Most of the remittances are sent from the United States, where an estimated 12 million Mexicans live, about half of them undocumented migrants. EFE act/cd