Literature review reveals insights into how EU nationals navigate their lives in the UK
24 March 2022
The European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Data Linkage project has released a review of the existing literature on the experiences of EU nationals in the UK, prior to and after the 2016 EU referendum.
The literature review focuses on the areas of health; education and children; employment; benefits and welfare; and the experiences of EU citizens living in the UK. It will help to inform the project team in their analysis of data relating to EU citizens living in Wales who are part of the EU Settlement Scheme.
The EUSS Data Linkage Project is an ADR Wales initiative born out of the need to improve the evidence base on this group of citizens. It aims to link Home Office data with other data already held within the SAIL Databank. This enables researchers and policymakers to better understand the experiences of EU citizens with pre-settled and settled status. These insights will lead to better informed policy and services that address the needs of this potentially vulnerable population.
The literature review was conducted using a total of 80 papers, revealing at times complex insights in the categories studied. For example, evidence suggests EU citizens contribute to the UK economy in both skilled and unskilled occupations, but many are over-qualified for their employment – especially those in unskilled work.
EU citizens’ employment in the labour market is diverse in terms of sector of employment, socio-economic status, and length of time in the UK. Much of the evidence indicates that those from EU15 countries were more likely to be in skilled occupations than those from countries that joined the EU following the 2004 enlargement.
The research team made a key point that EU citizens living in the UK are not a homogenous group. They noted the diverse experiences of those included in the review and groups who may not be covered in depth in the published literature.
Overall, the review provides insights into how EU nationals living in the UK navigate their lives, the impact of the EU referendum, and the resulting European Union Settlement Scheme.