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08 Mar. 2024

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How refugees from Ukraine have affected the Polish economy: GDP, labor market and taxes paid

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How refugees from Ukraine have affected the Polish economy: GDP, labor market and taxes paid

Employed Ukrainians in Poland compensate for the assistance provided to refugees with their taxes. At the same time, the overall impact of Ukrainian citizens on the economy of the neighboring country is becoming more and more noticeable after two years of war. Find out how Poland's GDP is growing thanks to Ukrainians, how much taxes they have paid, and what percentage of refugees are employed in the Polish labor market

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After two years of full-scale war in Ukraine, the impact of refugees on the Polish economy is becoming increasingly noticeable. According to a study by reliefweb.int, at first this was manifested mainly through increased consumption. However, in a short period of time, Ukrainians entered the Polish labor market as employees and entrepreneurs, which inevitably affected Poland's GDP growth.


Based on the analysis conducted by the international consulting company Deloitte at the request of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, we will describe the impact of Ukrainian refugees on the Polish economy.


General analysis of Ukrainians in Poland: who they are and how they have adapted to the new country


As of October 20223, there were about 957 thousand refugees from Ukraine living in Poland, the vast majority of whom are women and children. Half of all Ukrainians in Poland are of working age. At the same time, half of refugee families have a person with a chronic illness, while almost 10% of families have people with disabilities. More than a third of households consist of a single mother/father and a child, and more than 20% of families include the elderly. And families consisting exclusively of pensioners make up only 10% of the total number of refugees.


At the same time, the level of employed Ukrainians was rising very quickly: in November 2022, it reached 65%, and in July-August 2023, the number of refugees living solely on funds from the Polish government (social programs, etc.) was only 7%, while the vast majority of Ukrainian families supported themselves on their own, receiving 80% of their income from work.


Ukrainians in the Polish labor market: employment sectors and income


According to the data of the Polish Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) used in the report, the number of employees with Ukrainian citizenship has increased in all sectors of the economy since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine. The only exception in Poland was transportation and storage. According to the report's authors, there are currently 225 to 350 thousand refugees from Ukraine working in Poland.


Thus, according to a survey in 2023:

– 14% of refugees worked in production;

– 12% in accommodation and catering facilities

– 6% in the field of repair and trade;

– 5% registered their own business in Poland.


At the same time, the income of Ukrainians has significant differences. The survey showed that 20% of Ukrainian refugees earned less than 3,000 PLN (697 EUR), 41% earned between 3,000 and 6,000 PLN (1,395 EUR), and 12% earned more than 6,000 PLN.




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How much tax did Ukrainians pay in Poland?


The analysts noted that the amount of taxes paid by Ukrainians in 2022 and 2023 more than compensated for Poland's expenses for the maintenance and assistance to refugees.


"If the estimates of public expenditures on refugees of PLN 15 billion in 2022 and PLN 5 billion in 2023 are accurate, we can conclude that they were more than offset by additional tax revenues. In the long run, refugees should increase annual state revenue by about 0.85-1.3%," the report says.


Studies have shown that the cumulative contribution of refugees from Ukraine to Poland's GDP in 2023 amounted to 0.7-1.1%. In addition, the analysts estimated direct and indirect revenues to the Polish state budget from refugees from Ukraine. Thus, according to estimates, they amounted to: 0.8-1.1% in 2022 and 1.05-1.45% in 2023. In monetary terms, this amounts to PLN 10.1-13.7 billion in 2022 and PLN 14.7-19.9 billion in 2023. 


The amount of taxes to be paid by refugees from Ukraine in Poland is 12.3-15.2 billion PLN in 2022 and 18.2-22.5 billion PLN in 2023.


Thus, according to experts, refugees from Ukraine who remain in Poland as workers, entrepreneurs, consumers and taxpayers have a positive impact on the country's economy, which will grow even more in the long run.


We remind you! Trade with Ukraine in 2023 brought Poland a record balance, while Polish farmers blocked and continue to block the Ukrainian border. Read how much Poland has earned from Ukraine and how the Ukrainian government can retaliate against Polish business in our previous article.


Photo: TSN.ua


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