Understanding free movement and migration in the European Union
Net economic effect of migration
The REMINDER project highlighted that EU migrants tend to contribute a little more to the public finances of host countries than they cost in terms of welfare benefits and public services. This chart shows that these ‘net fiscal effects’ are generally positive in the majority of EU countries, but modest.
Researchers found that, for most countries, the fiscal effects are between a small negative (-0.2% GDP of the host country) and a small positive (+0.4% of GDP). The biggest winners in the EEA are Switzerland, Cyprus, Norway and Belgium, because EU immigrant households on average provide a fiscal surplus, and these countries have the largest population shares of EU immigrants.
It’s worth noting that the data here is specifically related to immigration — for a complete picture one also needs to consider the impacts of emigration.