EU migrants make ‘net contribution’ to UK economy

EU migrants who have come to the UK since the year 2000 have made a 'substantial' contribution to public finances, according to a study by University College London.

Migrants who have come to the UK since the year 2000 have made a ‘substantial’ contribution to public finances, according to a study by University College London.

Rather than being a ‘drain’ on the economy, as the media often suggests, their financial contribution had been ‘remarkably strong’, the authors of the report said.

Immigrants who arrived in the UK after 1999 were 45 per cent less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits than UK natives in the period 2000-2011, according to the report by UCL’s Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration. They were also 3 per cent less likely to live in social housing.

Those from the European Economic Area (EEA – the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) had made a particularly strong contribution in the decade up to 2011, contributing 34 per cent more in taxes than they received in benefits.

The study found, however, that between 1995 and 2011 immigrants from non-EEA countries claimed more in benefits than they paid in taxes. In the decade up to 2011 British people also paid 11 per cent less in tax than they received.

The report found that in 2011, 32 per cent of recent EEA immigrants and 43 per cent of non-EEA immigrants had university degrees, compared with 21 per cent of the British adult population.

The research was compiled using data from the British Labour Force Survey and government reports.

11 Responses to “EU migrants make ‘net contribution’ to UK economy”

  1. OldLb

    Like Abu Hamza. Migrant to the UK.

    What contribution did he make whilst he was here?

  2. OldLb

    So what facts are you after?

    Here’s a simple one to ponder.

    Average government spend per person per year, 11.5K a year.

    How many migrants make a contribution that is in excess of the cost of them being here?

  3. OldLb


    If you read the report there are glaring errors.

    1. Pensions ignored. They are accruing pension rights.
    2. Costs are assumed to be zero for migrants, not for natives.
    3. Generalisation. e.g Because one migrant pays a lot of tax, all migrants must be good. The equivalent of saying if one black person commits a crime all must be criminals.

    e.g Is Abu Hamza good for the UK? He’s a migrant. Or at the other end, Abramovitch. Must be bad for the UK because he’s increased income inequality by being here.

    Some migrants are undoubtabley good. I would classify those that don’t commit crimes. Pay more in tax than they consume whilst here. Anyone who fits that bill in my books is welcome.

    However, if they are here illegally, they should be removed. If they don’t pay more tax than they consume they are taking other people’s money and making those people poorer. They need to be removed and barred from entry. If they take jobs from those who are on welfare they should not be allowed in. If they commit crimes, they need to be removed.

    Economic migration is a choice that the UK can exercise, and its been more than lax. Negligent is a better choice of word.

  4. Sparky

    By that logic, all countries outside Africa, the birthplace of Man, should abandon immigration controls completely since their populations ultimately came from somewhere else.

  5. oldcobbler

    Your article says that migrants have made a substantial contribution to public finances.

    But it is headlined “Eu Migrants make ‘net contribution’ to UK economy”. The public finances and the UK economy are not the same thing.

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