Higher migration could boost the UK economy by £625bn by 2064-65 and also relief some of the pressures caused by an ageing population, a new report has found.
Immigration: Encourage or Deter?, published by The International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) found the number of over 65s is expected to double between 2000 and 2050, while the working age population will only increase by 20.1%.
This, it argues, will impact on the sustainability of public debt as demand for health, social care and state pensions increases.
The report argues migration could help alleviate these spending pressures as non-UK nationals living in the UK are more likely to be of working age than UK nationals.
Ben Franklin, head of economics of ageing at the ILC-UK said: 'Immigration is no silver bullet. The UK’s ageing population is a dramatic shift that will require a myriad of policies to help achieve desirable outcomes. However, we must recognise the benefits of immigration as a means of coping with the challenge.
'Migrants are typically of working age, in employment and make a net positive contribution to government finances by contributing more in tax than they take out in benefits.'
ILC-UK also analysed local authority data to disprove the fear that migrants are pushing British citizens out of employment. The figures show on average those local authorities with higher levels of employment amongst non-UK born citizens also have higher employment rates for the white UK born population.