According to newly released data, several migrant groups of different national origins in Switzerland have welfare dependency rates well above 50 per cent, with over 80 per cent of Somalis in the country taking state handouts.
The data was gathered and released by both the Federal Statistical Office and the State Secretariat for Migration and shows that the 4,000 or so Somalis in Switzerland are by far the most prone to being on government benefits with 83.7 per cent relying on state income, 20 Minutes reports.
While Somalis are by far and wide the largest recipients of welfare, several other nationalities also have rates of over 50 per cent, such as Eritreans at 54.7 per cent and Angolans at 54 per cent.
The statistics greatly contrast with the number of Swiss nationals on welfare, at a mere 2.3 per cent of the population — although Japanese nationals were the lowest of all at only 0.6 per cent.
Damian Müller of the Swiss Liberals (FDP) said that the figures show that both far too many asylum seekers not qualified for asylum were living on state handouts and that not enough was being done to integrate those with refugee status into the Swiss economy.
“Integration is not a one-way street,” he insisted, adding, “refugees are [also] responsible.”
Bachir Gobdon of the Somali Diaspora association attributed some of the blame for the high rates of welfare in the Somali community to the average family size, saying, “For example, they work in the hospitality industry, where wages are low. A family that has seven children, for example, cannot live on it.”
The statistics resemble those in other countries like Sweden, where the jobless rate for migrants is much higher than the rate for native Swedes.
Figures released last summer showed that while Swedes had a rate of only 3.6 per cent unemployment, while the figure for migrants was 19.9 per cent.
In Germany, a report from the German Federal Employment Agency last year revealed that more than half of those on the Hartz IV welfare programme were migrants, with migrant welfare recipients increasing by 69 per cent since 2010 while Germans on welfare declined by 20 per cent.
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