Nearly 23% of population foreign-born

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About 27 immigrants per 1000 people arrived in Cyprus from countries outside the European Union last year, one of the highest ratios in the bloc, according to Eurostat data.

Some 22.7% of citizens in Cyprus were foreign-born, the third largest percentage in the EU.

Also, Cyprus has the second largest share of citizens born in other EU states (10.6%) but is fifth for those born in non-EU countries (12.2%).

Compared to 2021, the number of non-EU-born citizens in Cyprus increased while those born in other EU countries decreased.

An estimated 2.3 million immigrants were coming to the bloc from outside, and about 1.1 million people from the EU emigrated to a country outside it.

Data shows a significant increase compared with 2020 when an estimated 1.9 million immigrants to the EU from non-EU countries and about 956,000 people emigrated from the EU.

In addition, 1.4 million people previously residing in one EU country migrated to another EU member in 2021 (1.2 million in 2020).

In 2021, there was an estimated 5 immigrants per 1000 people in the EU.

Relative to the size of the resident population, Luxembourg recorded the highest rate of immigration (almost 40 immigrants per 1000 people), followed by Malta (35) and Cyprus (27).

In contrast, Slovakia registered the lowest rate of immigration, with 1 per 1000 people, followed by Portugal and France, each with 5 immigrants per 1000.

On 1 January 2022, almost half (49.4%) of the population in Luxembourg was foreign-born.

It was followed by Malta (23.6%) and Cyprus (22.7%) as the EU members with the highest foreign-born population shares.

In contrast, the lowest shares were recorded in Romania (1.7%), Poland (2.5%) and Bulgaria (3.2%).

In absolute terms, the biggest populations of foreign-born citizens (from other EU members and non-EU countries) were registered in Germany (15.3 million), France (8.7 million) and Spain (7.4 million).


In relative terms, Luxembourg had the biggest community of citizens born in another EU country, 33.8%, followed by Cyprus with 10.6% and Austria with 9.3%.

Belgium and Malta also registered high shares of citizens born in other EU countries, with 7.9% each.

Poland and Lithuania had the smallest shares of citizens born in other EU countries, with only 0.6% each. Bulgaria and Romania also recorded low values, with 1% each.

For citizens born in non-EU countries, the highest shares were recorded in Malta (15.7%), closely followed by Luxembourg (15.6%).

They were followed by Sweden (14.9%), Estonia (13.1%) and Cyprus (12.2%).

Registering the lowest shares of non-EU-born citizens were Romania (0.7%), Slovakia (1.0%), Poland (1.9%), Bulgaria (2.2%) and Hungary (2.9%).

Compared with 2021 (in absolute terms), 13 EU members saw the number of citizens born in non-EU countries and in EU countries increase (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden).

Five members saw the opposite trend — Czechia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, and Romania.

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.