Looking for something else I just stumbled across this:
Italy’s 3.6 foreign residents are an added asset to the country’s economy and their labours account for 6.1% of its GDP, some 86.7 billion euros in 2005, according to a new report.
Published Monday in the authoritative financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, the report pointed out how Italy’s immigrants were responsible for “keeping the nation from suffering two heavy recessions in recent years”.
Without their contribution, Il Sole explained, “Italy’s GDP would have fallen by 0.1% in 2002, 0.6% in 2003 and 0.9% in 2005.
Almost 2.1 million immigrants hold regular jobs and they totally dominate the domestic services sector, accounting for 80% of the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP to the tune of 9.6 billion euros.
Immigrants play an even bigger role in the services sector contributing 37 billion euros to the nation’s wealth, equal to 4.3% of the sector’s GDP.
According to the report, the contribution immigrants make to the economy has been growing constantly.
From 1993 to 2000, GDP rose 15.4% in real terms, but this would have been 13.5% without immigrants, Il Sole calculated.
In the following five years, GDP rose by 3.2% “of which 3.1% was thanks to the work of immigrants. This is equal to 96% of the increase,” the study concluded.
The data presented here is fascinating. The picture is pretty similar in Spain, although since Spain's population ex-immigration isn't actually falling all we can say is that Spain's economy has risen substantially more than it would.
I suppose I don't need to ram this point home, but it does rather confirm my argument that those countries with ageing populations who cannot attract immigrants will actually see GDP shrink at some stage.
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