Each Refugee Costs Sweden Over $8,000 Annually

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By Ben Warren

The cost for each refugee is a net loss of over 74,000 Kroner ($8,396) every year they are in Sweden according to a new report from the nation’s Expert Group on Public Economics Studies (ESO).

The study measures the employment rates of refugees from 1983 to 2015, with data after the ’90s being the most precise as Sweden officially labeled immigrants from Hungary, Chile, and other nations as refugees.

“The uncertainty in the calculations is high, but indicates that the net distribution of public finances to an average refugee throughout [his or her] lifespan in Sweden amounts to an average of 74,000 kronor per year,” says Swedish media site SVT citing the ESO report.

The annual economic contribution of refugees is positive during their peak earning years, but is overall offset by the costly early years of integration and their eventual retirement when they recieve a pension.

Employment rates among refugees has worsened over the course of the study and the negative trend is associated with the slowness of integration with their host country.

“In the 1980s, integration was reported to have been significantly faster than in the 1990s and beyond,” reports SVT.

Joakim Ruist, the author of the ESO report stresses the metrics for integration today are dubious but the fact remains employing refugees has always been the issue.

“There is no benchmark in which you can be sure that you really know what you are talking about [with] successful or failed [integration], but we can find that it has always been difficult to put refugees into employment,” says Ruist.

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