The impacts of international migration on poverty in the UK

Carlos Vargas-Silva, Yvonni Markaki and Madeleine Sumption
29th Jul 2016

This report looks at the impacts of international migration on poverty in the UK.

Migration has wide-ranging impacts, many of which are relevant to the study of poverty, yet prior studies have not examined the evidence through this lens. This report reviews existing research, examines policy options for a poverty reduction strategy and discusses gaps in the evidence base.

The report shows:

  • There are four key ways in which migration may affect the incidence of poverty – through the labour market, the cost of living, public services and public finances.
  • These factors affect poverty in different ways, making it difficult to determine the ‘total’ impact of migration on poverty.
  • Significant effects of migration on employment rates have not been found, but migration seems to have decreased wages in some low-wage jobs.
  • Migration appears to reduce the cost of some goods and services, resulting in more affordable prices for low-income, UK-born people.
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