June 2018

IZA DP No. 11609: The Long-Term Outcomes of Refugees: Tracking the Progress of the East African Asians

published in: Journal of Refugee Studies, 2021, 34 (2), 1967-1998

Refugees are often perceived as an economic "burden", as the current debate on the European refugee crisis illustrates. But there is little quantitative evidence on the medium-term outcomes of refugees in the UK. We fill this gap by looking at the case of "East African Asians" who arrived as refugees in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We use data from the UK Census to describe their economic outcomes forty years later. We show that their outcomes are at least as good as the population average, with the younger cohort performing better. Refugee status, as distinct from ethnicity or immigrant status, appears to have a positive impact.