Indications of the effect of the economic crisis from EU migration statistics in 2009 (EMN Inform)

This EMN Inform summarises indications from EU migration statistics in 2009 of the effect of the economic crisis, based on the most recent relevant statistics available for analysis by the EMN.

Key Findings

  • The effects of the economic crisis are reflected best in statistics for legal migration. Nine outof twelve Member States that experienced a decrease in the number of immigrants in 2009,explicitly cited the economic crisis and the Member State's specific economic situation, asan important reason for the decrease in immigration. This suggests that the reduction inemployment opportunities resulting from the crisis has had an impact on the numbers ofimmigrants arriving in some Member States.
  • The picture on emigration in 2009 in relation to the economic downturn is rather more mixed. Net-migration for the EU remained positive in 2009 (i.e. there was a larger inflowthan outflow of migrants); however, the downward trend in positive net migration from 2007 to 2008 has continued into 2009, with a significant decrease of some 20%.
  • The perception of reduced opportunities relating to the crisis may have influenced individual decisions in relation to irregular migrants coming to the EU for the purpose of employment, which may have contributed to the decrease in the number of persons refused at the borders,by -21%.
  • There is some evidence that the economic crisis may have influenced increases in the numbers of apprehensions and returns. Many irregularly staying third-country nationals who were apprehended (and subsequently returned) in 2009, initially entered the Member Stateslegally, and then overstayed their visas or residence permits. This was observed in Belgium,Estonia and Poland.

The full effects of the crisis are likely to become more apparent when complete statistics for subsequent years are also available for analysis.

Main theme:
Publication type: