Immigrants bring more than they get out of the Welfare State, concludes a study

The study is funded by Catalan savings bank ‘la Caixa’ with data at Spanish-level. It reveals, contrary to xenophobic statements that immigrants bring more revenue to the state than the costs they generate. In addition, their presence also brings more services. “We came to the conclusion than the impact of immigration in the Welfare State is clearly positive”, states the coordinator of the study.


May 7, 2011 02:52 AM

Barcelona (ACN).- Foreigners bring more than they get, not only economically but also in terms of services. That is the main conclusion of the Immigration Social Study, funded by the Catalan savings bank ‘la Caixa’ through its social work foundation. The study revealed that the impact of immigration in the Spanish Welfare State is clearly positive. 50% of the public budget’s surplus during the years of greatest growth corresponded to taxes and social contributions brought by immigrants. However, they have been the section of society most hit by the economic crisis (together with the young population). Currently they suffer from an unemployment rate of 30%. Javier Moreno, the coordinator of the study, explained that the public perception that immigrants are getting all the benefits from the welfare state while not contributing enough revenue is completely false. In addition, he denounced politicians and public administrations for not having sufficiently adapted public services and social aids for the population increase due to the immigration. This lack of prevision during the wealthy years brought the saturation of some welfare state services, and many citizens blame immigration in an unfair and many times xenophobic way.

Less than 1% of pension beneficiaries are foreigners and actually immigration will contribute to delay by five years the arrival of the pension system’s deficit. In addition, revenues coming from immigration are the main engine behind the functioning of the social protection system. Those are some of the conclusions of the study, which completely destroys the stereotype that immigrants are excessively profiting from the European welfare state, a stereotype fed by populist politicians that has provoked an increase in xenophobia across Europe. Javier Moreno said during the study’s presentation that his team “has reached the conclusion that impact of immigration on the Welfare State is clearly positive”. “It has been positive during the wealthy years and it is still so during the economic crisis” he added. Moreno thinks that this is due to the immigration’s youth and its motivation to work.

The crisis has hit the immigrant population more severely. 30% of the immigrant population is poor, for 18% of the people born in Spain. However, despite being the most vulnerable sector, immigrants only use 6.8% of social service interventions, which are mainly used by Spanish-nationals.