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Estonian experts assessed Ukrainian refugees' contribution to economy

Estonian experts assessed Ukrainian refugees' contribution to economy Ukrainians in Estonia (
Author: Maria Kholina

Ukrainian refugees in Estonia have had a positive impact on the country's economy. Their contribution through taxes and consumption reportedly outweighs the costs of social and financial assistance, according to Raul Eamets, Chief Economist at Bigbank.

Estonian economists believe that Ukrainian refugees have positively influenced Estonia's economy. Since the beginning of the war, the country has welcomed 153,322 refugees from Ukraine, but the current number residing in the country is unknown. The majority of war evacuees are women, children, and retirees. Estonia has spent around 8 million euros on social payments.

"When comparing the amounts Ukrainian refugees receive in social payments, they are significantly less than what Ukrainians contribute to the Estonian economy through taxes or consumer activity," said Raul Eamets, Chief Economist at Bigbank.

According to Eamets, the amounts of social payments to Ukrainians will decrease over time as refugees learn the language, validate their qualifications, and find employment in well-paid positions. This, in turn, will help Ukrainians fill vacancies in education and healthcare where there is currently a shortage of professionals. Many Ukrainian citizens are currently working in fields unrelated to their expertise.

The overall number of Ukrainians who have found employment in Estonia is 28,115 individuals. They earn an average gross income of 1,393 euros (before tax deductions).

"Most Ukrainian refugees work in manufacturing, which is a very large sector of the economy. Trade, administrative work, and the service sector follow in the list," said Katrin Leivamets, a representative of the employment service.

She added that even Ukrainians who had not worked in Ukraine find job opportunities in Estonia.

Previously, contributions from tax-paying employed Ukrainian refugees were assessed in Czechia and Poland, with the income from Ukrainian taxes seen as a substantial contribution to the budget.