• Sweden's news in English
 

Sweden data debunks UK migration fears

Published: 14 Jan 2014 15:25 GMT+01:00

Bulgarian and Romanian migrants contribute more than they cost to Western European economies, which should stand as a lesson to the wary UK which stands to benefit the most from an influx,  a Swedish economist said Tuesday.

Joakim Ruist, a researcher at Gothenburg University, did precise calculations for Sweden, where Bulgarians and Romanians have worked freely since joining the EU in 2007, and estimates for 14 other EU member states.

"My findings clearly show that the fears that are currently expressed in other European countries of unrestricted immigration from Romania and Bulgaria imposing a heavy burden on the welfare state are unfounded," Ruist said in a statement.

The report came one day after EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor said that migrants contribute more than they take in their new countries and tend not to take jobs away from host workers.

In Sweden, one of the EU's most generous countries with its immigrants, and also the one with the largest gap between national and immigrant unemployment figures, Bulgarian or Romanian migrants contribute to the state 30 percent more than they cost, according to the economist.

"This positive result is due to migrants receiving substantially less welfare benefits and being subject to substantially less public spending," Ruist said. "This more than outweighs the fact that they earn less and hence pay less in taxes than the population on average."

The researcher argued that the UK and Ireland are among the countries that benefit most from this immigration, since they a have well-known language and "smaller welfare sectors".

The EU migration issue heated up sharply ahead of January 1st when Bulgarians and Romanians got full rights to free movement in the European Union, sparking fears of a massive influx of migrants living on the state or taking jobs away from locals.

In response to calls for limits, the UK rushed through measures in December restricting access to unemployment handouts for new EU migrants but the feared flood of Romanians and Bulgarians notably failed to materialize.

Sweden joined a long list of critics of the British government's handling of immigration fears, with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld voicing his concern last year and telling his UK counterpart David Cameron that the fear of welfare abuse had proved unfounded in Sweden.

"We didn't see this big social tourism that everyone warned us about, and it might be wise to share that experience with others," Reinfeldt told Sveriges Radio (SR) earlier last year. Sweden's Social Affairs Minister Göran Hägglund was equally if not more critical.

"I think it's a terrible way to express oneself. I think (Cameron's) speech is very, very unfortunate," Hägglund told SR, specifically, taking issue with how Cameron "pitted us against them" when speaking of migrants.

The new Swedish study used as a sample a fifth of the 10,000 Bulgarians and Romanians who lived in Sweden at the end of 2011, comparing their contributions via taxes with their use of public services, such as social benefits, health care, and education.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Lisa Holm murder
Mourners pay tribute to murdered Swedish teen
Murdered Swedish teenager Lisa Holm is being buried today. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Mourners pay tribute to murdered Swedish teen

UPDATED: Family, friends and community members have attended the funeral of murdered Swedish schoolgirl Lisa Holm. READ  

'You become a Muslim if you eat halal meat'
A Sweden Democrat politician has claimed halal meat has magical powers. Photo: AP Photo/Mel Evans

'You become a Muslim if you eat halal meat'

The leader of a local wing of the nationalist Sweden Democrat party has caused a controversy after he claimed that halal meat has magical powers that turns people into Muslims. READ  

Uber Sweden in hot water over driver checks
Uber is available in 57 countries. Photo: TT

Uber Sweden in hot water over driver checks

Car-sharing service Uber is facing questions about how closely it vets drivers after a Swedish newspaper reporter managed to enrol with the company without being given any training. READ  

Greece crisis
Stockholm market back up after Greece vote
Stockholm's stock exchange. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Stockholm market back up after Greece vote

Despite dipping in the immediate aftermath of Greece's referendum, Stockholm's stock market rose again on Tuesday. Meanwhile Eurozone finance ministers and leaders are attending the latest EU crisis talks in Brussels. READ  

Refugees to Sweden face long wait for ID checks
Refugees to Sweden face a long wait to have their passports checked. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Refugees to Sweden face long wait for ID checks

Tens of thousands of refugees who applied for asylum in Sweden before the new year are still waiting to have their identification documents processed by the Swedish immigration authorities. READ  

UN seeks new probe on Swede's crash death
Swedish former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. Photo: UPI/SCANPIX

UN seeks new probe on Swede's crash death

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for a fresh investigation into the mysterious plane crash that killed Swedish diplomat and former UN chief Dag Hammarskjöld more than 50 years ago. READ  

Opinion
'Russians don't think about Sweden's military'
Russian planes perform during the International Maritime Defence show in St.Petersburg earlier this month. Photo: TT/AP/Dmitry Lovetsky

'Russians don't think about Sweden's military'

While there's been much chatter in the global media about Russian military activity off the Swedish island of Gotland, most Russians have never even heard of the place, writes Stockholm-based Russian journalist Elena Bazina. READ  

Greece crisis
Stockholm stock market falls after Greek vote
Stockholm's stock exchange. File photo: TT

Stockholm stock market falls after Greek vote

UPDATED: Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson has raised concerns about Greece’s future, while Stockholm's stock market has fallen as economic jitters are felt across Europe. READ  

One dead after shooting in central Sweden
Swedish police are investigating a shooting in Örebro. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

One dead after shooting in central Sweden

One of three men hurt in a shooting in central Sweden has died from his injuries, the regional police in Örebro said on Monday. READ  

Almedalen 2015
Swedes should vote at 16, says top feminist
Gudrun Schyman in Visby this week. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedes should vote at 16, says top feminist

UPDATED: The co-leader of Sweden’s Feminist Initiative Party has proposed lowering the nation’s voting age in a key speech. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week: Huskvarna, Jönköping
National
Boy rescues lost engagement ring
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
Gallery
People-watching: July 3rd-5th
Blog updates

3 July

Editor’s blog, July 3rd (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello from the Swedish island of Gotland! The Local’s editorial team has decamped from our Stockholm headquarters..." READ »

 

2 July

Som eller att (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! It happens quite often, that my students are confused over when to use “som” and when..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
National
Scary taxis lure Nordic Noir freaks to Sweden's capital
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
National
Oasis star calls Zlatan 'idiot'
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
National
Learning Swedish: different rules for expats and refugees?
Sponsored Article
What can we learn from Swedish women's sex habits?
Sport
IN PICTURES: Thousands welcome home Sweden’s heroes
Politics
Almedalen: The Local's guide to Sweden's power players week
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Your July summer snaps
Sport
Sweden celebrates greatest sporting victory in decades
Gallery
People-watching: July 1st
National
Swede battles slug invasion
National
VIDEO: Is this herring tasting clip an 'insult to Sweden'?
Gallery
Property of the week: Visby, Gotland
National
Sweden set for sunniest week of year
Gallery
People-watching: June 26th-28th
Features
The Local's essential guide to who's who in Swedish politics
National
More Swedish military exercises as Russia aggression fears grow
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Travel
Why Swedish camp sites are set for a bumper summer
National
Swedish summer's really on its way (at least according to forecasters)
Gallery
People-watching: June 24th
National
Why are southern Swedes angry about becoming 'Danish' again?
Society
Lifestyle: When to catch your favourite features on The Local
National
Is Sweden one of the world's most peaceful nations?
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Travelling to Sweden's secret islands
National
One in ten Swedish cats homeless
Sponsored Article
'I constantly evolve my Swedishness'
Gallery
Property of the week: Värmdö, Stockholm
Society
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
National
Swedish royals' dream honeymoon
National
Swedish hospital opens first centre for male rape victims
Gallery
People-watching: June 20th-21st
Photo: TT
Lifestyle
Midsummer: The Local's guide to Sweden's craziest festival
Sponsored Article
Murder, myth and magic: Travelling to the birthplace of Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th
Sponsored Article
Gallery: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
Society
Seven alternative names for Sweden's Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf
National
FBI returns stolen Swedish books
National
Want to smell like Zlatan?
National
Royal joy over birth of new prince
Gallery
Property of the week: Brantevik, Simrishamn
National
How racy graffiti inspired a teacher's high school sex class
Gallery
People-watching: June 12th-14th
National
As it happened: Prince Carl Philip marries Sofia Hellqvist
Technology
Is Stockholm the world's creative capital?
National
Timeline: Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
KTH President: ‘Sweden’s success is because of its size’
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Sponsored Article
The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,236
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se