Immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh are more likely to be claiming benefits, be out of work or in low paid work, according to new research by MigrationWatch.
According to a survey by the anti-immigration pressure group some five million foreigners have weaker economic performance compared with UK-born residents.
Those who are either not working, lower-paid or claiming benefits outnumber by two to one the foreign nationals whose economic contribution is higher than the average for UK-born people.
The “Pakistan and Bangladesh” group performed worst, with below-average performance in all three categories, Migration watch found.
The findings contradict numerous other surveys which claim that migrants are beneficial to the British economy.
However, MigrationWatch said its report was a “ground-breaking” analysis of the true economic implications of immigration to Britain.
Other findings of the report include:
Migrants from Western Europe, India, South Africa and the ‘Anglosphere’ countries – the US,Australia, New Zealand – have high rates of employment at good wages and low rates of benefit claim.
Migrants from Africa, apart from South Africa, have overall employment rates and wages on a par with those born in the UK, but much higher rates of benefit claim.
Migrants from Eastern Europe have high rates of employment but lower wages and higher rates of benefit claim than those born in the UK.
Migration Watch said the study raises questions about assessments of the current and future impact of immigration which assume there is no difference in the economic characteristics of migrants.
MigrationWatch chairman Lord Green of Deddington said: “This analysis clearly demonstrates that sweeping claims implying that all immigration to the UK is beneficial cannot possibly be right.
“Any sensible policy should take account of the real differences in economic characteristics between migrants from different parts of the world.
“If immigration policy has been intended to attract only “the brightest and the best”, it has clearly failed, with a very large number of migrants earning less or claiming more than the British born.
“The clear message of this research is that immigration can be reduced substantially while permitting entry to those migrants that our economy really needs.”