The number of immigrants working in Portugal and making social security payments is growing. According to Minister of Labour, Social Security and Inclusion Ms. Ana Mendes Godinho, 473 000 foreign citizens made such a payment in December 2021, accounting for 10% of the received monthly social contributions in Portugal in that month. These payments are compulsory for both foreign workers and their employers, and therefore their numbers give a good indication of the growing number of immigrants securing employment in Portugal.
In 2021 as a whole, social security contributions reached a total of 1 300 million euros. Social security data shows that in 2018, by contrast, the corresponding figure stood at 290 million euros (paid by 8.5% of the total number of payees). Even earlier on, in 2014, these contributions amounted to 186 million euros and were paid by 5.2% of the total number of people making social contributions.
According to Ms Mendes Godinho, this increase in social security payments by migrants indicates “inclusion but also collective participation”. Proportionally, these payments are greater than the relative weight foreign citizens represent in the resident population, stressing the relevance of their role in sustaining the economic system.
The main geographical origins of the migrant workers making payments are Brazil, the EU, Eastern European countries including Ukraine, Moldova and Russia, and the five Portuguese-speaking African countries (especially Cape Verde). Indian workers are also assuming a growing relevance as contributors.
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