UK gets £4.96bn surplus from EU migrants

European migrants have paid in £4.96 billion more in taxes to the UK than they cost in benefits, says a report published on Wednesday from the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration. (CReAM), part of University College London.

EU citizens who emigrated to the United Kingdom since 2000 have contributed over £20 billion to the country’s public finances during the 2001-2011 period. They have also provided the UK with *human capital that would have cost the country £6.8 billion in education and training expenditure, the authors wrote.

Human capital refers to the qualities in people that help them become more productive. Examples include education & training, skills, judgment, experience, etc.

Immigrants from 15 EU-member states paid out sixty-four percent more in taxes than they received in benefits. Even those who came from the Central and East European “accession” nations paid out 12% more than they received.

The report – The Fiscal Effects of Immigration to the UK – has been published in the November 5th issue of the Economic Journal.

Professor Christian DustmannProfessor Dustmann says that European immigrants have consistently contributed more than they have received. (Photo: University College London)

Accession nations

The nations that became EU-member states in 2004, also referred to as A10 (Accession Ten), were Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Malta, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Cyprus.

The report gathered and analyzed data on A10 migrants’ share of all costs related to public services, including variable and fixed costs.

Excluding the fixed costs, the UK’s net benefit from A10 migrants was £10.5 billion.

Immigrants living in the UK from other European countries, including the EU plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, also contributed more than they received in the UK over the period.

Immigrants from all over Europe made a positive fiscal contribution of £4.4 billion during the 1995-2011 period. Non-European immigrants made a £118 billion negative contribution, while the British population made a negative £591 billion contribution over the same period.

Over the 2001-2011 period, European migrants contributed £20 billion while non-European migrants contributed £5 billion.

Migrants who settled in the UK after 2000 were 43% less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits compared to the British population. Their likelihood of living in social housing was 7% lower.

Director of CReAM and study co-author, Professor Christian Dustmann said:

“A key concern in the public debate on migration is whether immigrants contribute their fair share to the tax welfare systems. Our new analysis draws a positive picture of the overall fiscal contribution made by recent immigrant cohorts, particularly immigrants arriving from the EU.”

“Immigration to the UK since 2000 has been of substantial net fiscal benefit, with immigrants contributing more than they have received in benefits and transfers. This is true for immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe as well as the rest of the EU.”