February 6, 2017
A new analysis by the Institute for Employment Studies prepared for the European Parliament offer a snapshot of the number, status and characteristics of EU27 nationals living in the UK, and UK nationals living in Europe. The report, Brexit implications for employment and social affairs: facts and figures, found that UK expenditure on welfare benefit is more than forty times lower than expenditure for UK nationals. Overall, the researchers concluded that EU migrants are net contributors to the UK economy in terms of taxes and welfare benefits. This research found that the total number of EU-27 nationals living in the UK grew from 1,345,000 in 1990 to 2,988,072 in 2015. The EU-27 population in the UK is made up of a large number of young people, particularly those aged between 25 and 34. Meanwhile, the number of UK citizens living in the EU grew from 661,505 in 1990 to 1,216,041 in 2015. In comparison with the UK domestic workforce, the employment rate of EU-27 nationals in the UK is higher and the unemployment rate lower. EU-27 nationals in the UK are more likely to be employed in low-skilled work and UK citizens working within the EU-27 tend to be employed in high-skilled occupations. The UK expenditure on welfare benefits for EU-27 nationals is more than 40 times lower than the expenditure for UK nationals, with very little variation over time.