The media has called it an invasion, the worst refugee crisis since the World War II. The numbers may be high, but on average, refugees and asylum seekers account for less than 1 percent of the population of European countries.
According to the UNHCR, this year up until July the EU received over 500,000 applications for asylum (including Syrians, Afghans and others). Since January 2012, the number has been about 2 million, which makes it equivalent to 0.37 percent of the EU population.
When it comes to the economic impact, most numbers show that the impact is a positive one. According to Volker Turk, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, guest in this edition of Economic Divide, European economies have benefited from refugees.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), refugees can be good for economic growth, like immigration, especially since countries like Germany have an aging population.