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Majority of EU Countries Received More Immigrants in 2021, Resulting in Every 5 People Being Foreign-Born

More people immigrated to the EU in 2021, with 2.3 million people coming from non-EU countries and another 1.1 million EU citizens emigrating to a country outside the zone.

According to Eurostat, the European Office for Statistics, Eurostat, 1.9 million people from non-EU countries immigrated to the EU, while another 956,000 left the zone in 2021. Additionally, 1.4 million former residents in the EU migrated to another EU country, up from 1.2 million recorded in 2020, reports.

There were an estimated five immigrants per every 1,000 EU inhabitants in 2021, with Luxembourg having the highest rate of immigration in 2021 in terms of the size of the resident population, recording almost 40 immigrants per 1,000 people. Malta and Cyprus followed with 35 and 27 immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants, respectively.

However, countries with the lowest rates of immigrants were Slovakia – with an estimated one immigrant for every 1,000 people, while Portugal and France followed the list with five immigrants, respectively.

In general, the foreign-born population in 2022 was the highest in Luxembourg, where 49.4 per cent of the population was foreign-born. Malta and Cyprus follow, with 23.6 and 22.7 per cent of their population being non-native born, respectively.

On the other hand, Romania (1.7 per cent), Poland (2.5 per cent), and Bulgaria (3.2 per cent) had the lowest shares of foreign-born citizens. In terms of the biggest populations of foreign-born citizens, the highest records were registered in Germany – 15.3 million people, followed by France and Spain with 8.7 million and 7.4 million people, respectively.

“In Germany, France, Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovenia, the number of non-EU-born citizens increased while the number of citizens born in other EU countries decreased. The opposite was registered in Croatia (to a very small degree) and Portugal, where the number of citizens born in other EU countries increased, but the non-EU foreign-born population decreased,” Eurostat explains.

Luxembourg has the largest community of citizens born in another EU country – a total of 3.8 per cent, followed by Cyprus (10.6 per cent) and Austria (9.3 per cent). Similarly, Belgium and Malta registered a high share of citizens born in other EU countries, with 7.9 per cent each. The smallest shares of citizens born in other EU countries were recorded in Poland and Lithuania, with 0.6 per cent each.

Citizens born in non-EU countries represented higher rates in countries like Malta (15.7 per cent), followed by Luxembourg (15.6 per cent), Sweden (14.9 per cent), Estonia (13.1 per cent), and Cyprus (12.2 per cent).

The lowest shares of non-EU-born citizens were recorded in Romania (0.7 per cent), Slovakia (one per cent), Poland (1.9 per cent), Bulgaria (2.2 per cent), and Hungary (2.9 per cent).

In general, 13 EU countries experienced increases in the number of citizens born in non-EU countries and in EU countries in 2022, such as Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Austria, Netherlands, Malta, Hungary, Luxembourg, Ireland, Estonia, Denmark, Bulgaria, and Belgium. Moreover, the five remaining countries recorded decreases.



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