One of the indicators in this report, which refers to 2019 and 2020, is that “like other social phenomena, there are some misconceptions about the relationship between migration and social integration or social protection”, bearing in mind that social security benefits from the positive balance that it represents. those people.
According to the data in the report, this positive balance amounted to €884 million in 2019 – the “highest value ever reached” – and €802.3 million in 2020.
This is because in the relationship between the contributions of foreigners and what they benefit from the social security system, immigrants contribute a much higher value than they receive, a relationship “very positive and favorable in Portugal”.
In 2019, for example, this contribution amounted to 995.5 million euros, however, they received only 111.1 million euros in social benefits, which gives a positive balance of 884 million euros.
In 2020, this positive balance decreased slightly to 802.3 million euros, taking into account that despite their contribution of 1075.2 million euros, they benefited from 273 million euros in social benefits.
On the other hand, the report states that “as in previous years”, immigrants showed that they had a greater ability to contribute than citizens, having 64 contributors for every hundred residents, compared to 45 Portuguese taxpayers for every hundred residents. .
“Foreigners, compared to the total number of residents in Portugal, still have fewer beneficiaries of social benefits per total number of participants: in 2020, in the case of foreigners, the ratio is 52 per 100 subscribers, while for the total number of subscribers the population ratio is 83 beneficiaries versus Every 100 contributors,” according to the report.
In the same year, immigrants represented 9.2% of total Social Security contributors, “of unprecedented relative importance (and more expressive than would be expected given that they represent only 6.4% of the resident population)”.
The advanced explanation for this phenomenon is the implementation of the “NIS immediately” measure for foreign nationals who intend to engage in secondary or independent activity in Portugal and have a connection with the social security system.
Despite the large contribution to social security and, proportionately, lower social benefits, foreigners residing in Portugal “present greater risks of poverty and live in greater material deprivation”, at 20.2% of the total immigrant population.
“These findings, associated with increased vulnerability, poverty and deprivation of foreigners, do not, however, lead to an increase in their dependence on the country’s social protection,” the report states.
The report also states that “migrants play a key role in the efficiency of labor markets.”
“Without immigrants, some sectors and economic activities will collapse,” he says, stressing that they have “higher activity rates than citizens,” but continue to be more represented in popular professional groups.
According to the data contained in the report, in 2019 Portugal reached the unprecedented number of 590,348 foreigners residing in the country (5.7% of the total number of residents), exceeding half a million foreign residents, a figure that rises to more than 662 thousand. 2020.
It also states that “In 2017, Portugal returned to a positive migration balance, which strengthened significantly in 2019 (+44,506) and 2020 (+41,274), after having had negative migration balances between 2011 and 2016, As a result of an increase in permanent departure and a decrease in entry into the country.”
This is despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which imposed restrictions on movement between countries, closed borders during 2020, and set new administrative measures in several countries around the world.
“The reasons for foreigners entering the country were related to study, family reunification and retirees,” the document states, which warns that not all immigration profiles are of importance to the country, given its growing demographic age.
Regarding socio-demographic characteristics, the immigrant population is mainly concentrated in coastal urban areas, men outnumber women, there has been an increase in citizens from countries such as Italy, France or the United Kingdom and a decrease in nationalities of PALOP (Portuguese- African speaking countries) or Eastern Europe .
It should be noted that “foreigners continue to contribute significantly to births in Portugal”, considering that in 2020, women of foreign nationality were responsible for 13.5% of all live births in Portugal”.
“It is relatively significant when in that year the foreign population represents only 6.4% of the total resident population in the country,” says the Migration Observatory.
A value that makes Portugal only 18th in the ranking of 27 countries in the European space with resident foreigners.
Read also: IOM highlights need for integration on International Migrants Day
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