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The economic integration of refugees in the UK

Researchers: Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva

Project overview

The growth in the UK’s new refugee population raises important questions about how to support the long-term economic integration and well-being of refugees.

There is an extensive quantitative literature on migrant economic integration in the UK. However, there is scarce evidence of the specific case of refugees. Differences in the motivation to migrate, the likelihood of return and economic inactivity spans, among others, suggest that refugees are likely to have economic integration dynamics that are different to those of other migrants. These differences have important policy implications.

Using the UK Labour Force Survey, this project will provide quantitative evidence on the labour market, well-being and education outcomes of refugees in the UK and assess the drivers of refugee economic integration.

Based on the research findings and with close collaboration and input from refugee support organisations and local authority policymakers, the project will examine the implications for policies related to refugee integration.

Latest on this project


  • Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva
    University of Oxford

  • Alex Beer
    Senior Consultant, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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