Immigrants less likely to claim benefits than general population

The Daily Mail's undue emphasis on focusing on benefits claimants as immigrants disproportionately is not backed up by Office for National Statistics data.

As reported in today’s Daily Mail, a smaller proportion of UK residents born outside the country receive welfare payments or tax credits than the population at large. Buried in paragraph seven in an article entitled “Migration wave means a third of Londoners were born abroad”, the biggest selling mid-market newspaper in the country reports:

“Fewer of the population of those born abroad claim state benefits or tax credits than native-born Britons.”

In fact, as demonstrated by the Office of National Statistics research paper on which the article is based, migrants are less likley to benefit from welfare payments or tax payments in all but two regions of the country, where the difference between native and non-native-born is negligible.


However, as the immigration debate has hotted up, the Daily Mail has published a series of articles focusing on immigrants claiming benefits, legally and fraudulently. They include:

• “Jail for immigrant who built a mansion from benefit fraud” (25 November 2006)

• “Benefits bill for EU immigrants for eastern European migrants hits £125m” (22 August 2007)

• “Polish migrants living in Britain claiming £21million for children left behind” (22 January 2008)

• “Hundreds of thousands of migrants are here for handouts, says senior judge” (29 July 2009)

• “An open door to benefit tourists: EU warns Britain it can’t stop thousands more migrants claiming welfare handouts” (22 September 2010)

 But an undue emphasis on focusing on benefits claimants as immigrants disproportionately is not backed up by this ONS data.

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

71 Responses to “Immigrants less likely to claim benefits than general population”

  1. Mark Thompson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Immigrants less likely to claim benefits than general population: http://bit.ly/ewbJt6 writes @DanielElton

  2. Samuel Palin

    RT @leftfootfwd: Immigrants less likely to claim benefits than general population: http://bit.ly/ewbJt6 writes @DanielElton

  3. Sarah Beattie-Smith

    RT @leftfootfwd: Immigrants less likely to claim benefits than general population: http://bit.ly/ewbJt6 writes @DanielElton

  4. Greg Marsh

    RT @leftfootfwd: Immigrants less likely to claim benefits than general population: http://bit.ly/ewbJt6 writes @DanielElton

  5. Extradition Game

    RT @leftfootfwd: Immigrants less likely to claim benefits than general population: http://bit.ly/ewbJt6 writes @DanielElton

Comments are closed.