Open Borders Give Spain An Economic Boost

<p>With no restrictions on immigration, Spain is increasingly home to an immigrant-rich population. And while some feared the open policy would strain the country's public services, the economic benefit has far outweighed the cost in services.</p>
May 13, 2007, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Over the past decade, the traditionally homogeneous country has become a sort of open-door laboratory on immigration. Spain has absorbed more than 3 million foreigners from places as diverse as Romania, Morocco, and South America. More than 11 percent of the country's 44 million residents are now foreign-born, one of the highest proportions in Europe. With hundreds of thousands more arriving each year, Spain could soon match the US rate of 12.9 percent."

"Spain is Europe's best-performing major economy, with growth averaging 3.1 percent over the past five years. Since 2002, the country has created half the new jobs in the euro zone. Unemployment has plummeted from more than 20 percent in the 1990s to 8.6 percent."

"The government says immigrants' tax and social security contributions exceed by more than 20 percent the cost of the public services they use."

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Published on Thursday, May 10, 2007 in Der Spiegel
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