The Net Migration From the New EU Countries


The paper is primarily an empirical study in which the net migration from the new EU Member States to Sweden is forecasted. The results indicate that free movement for workers has a positive and statistically significant effect on migration flows. The effect is, however, comparatively small in relation to the concerns expressed in the pre-enlargement debate.

Assuming that the Swedish economy will grow on average by two per cent per year, while the new member states converge at a rate of two per cent per year, the model used in this paper forecasts an immediate and positive increase in the net migration to Sweden of nine per cent. The increase in 2005 is still larger, representing an increase of 13 per cent in relation to the net migration in 2003. By 2006 the assumption of economic convergence in the new member states begins to significantly influence the net migration, resulting in a decrease in relation to 2005.

Over a 30 year interval, the model forecasts that the number of citizens in Sweden from EU-12 will rise from 24 000 in 2003 to between 60 000 to 80 000 in 2030. The main conclusion from the empirical model in this paper is that the mass immigration sometimes assumed in the public debate will fail to materialise.

The report was presented at the seminar Labour Mobility in the Enlarged EU and is a part of the research project Enlargement and the Free Movement of Labour.

icon 2004:2u Nettomigrationen från de nya EU-länderna - utvärdering och prognostisering (373.8 kB)