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Expats contribute positively to Danish Economy

Highly educated immigrants are a plus to Danish economy, and contribute more than they cost, is the important conclusion of the new report from DEA the independent, non-profit think tank based in Copenhagen.

By Bente D. Knudsen

Prior to the conference, Global Talent Summit 2016, hosted by The Confederation of Danish Industry and Mercuri Urval, an important conclusion on the impact of foreign talent in Denmark has been published in a new report DEA – a report commissioned by the Confederation of Danish Industry.

Its conclusions are clear. Foreign talent is a plus for Danish economy. An expat with a higher education (Danish media insists on the name højtuddannede indvandrere), who moves to Denmark to work without an accompanying family, and stays on average for five years, contributes with DKK 720,000 in total.

For an expat with a family, who stays on average for 10 years, the total contribution rises to DKK 2.2 million. This despite costs such as unemployment payments, medical expenses, or having children in a Danish school or institution.

Their country of origin is not important, so whether they are from India, China or Germany, they are good business for Denmark is the overall conclusion of the report.

The report is based on an analysis of 7,500 expats with a higher education who moved to Denmark to work in the 10-year period 2003 to 2013.

“When we analyse data available for the actual expenses and income, we can see that even if the expats with a higher education and their families use the services provided by the Danish welfare state, then due to their tax payments, they are good business for the Danish state, says Claus Aastrup Seidelin, chief economist at DEA.

The analysis is published just a few days before the large conference Global Talent Summit hosted by Danish Industry on 17 November. The conference’s focus is on how Denmark can continue to attract talent in what is called “the global battlefield for talent”, where Denmark is not alone but facing an increasingly fierce competition.

“Lack of talent is becoming a limiting factor for growth for businesses and nations all around the world, and Danish companies need to be able to attract highly educated employees and specialists,” says Linda Wendelboe, CEO of DI Global Talent.