In recent years, European countries have seen large numbers of refugees and economic migrants move in from the Middle East and Africa. But how large is the total immigrant population in each European country?
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The European countries with the largest registered immigrant population, are microstates. More than half of the people living in Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and the Vatican are born overseas. For the Vatican, this is of course no surprise. For Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco, most of the residents born overseas are from surrounding countries. The micro state of San Marino has a much lower percentage of immigrants, 16.3%
Apart from these micro states, there are only 2 other countries where more than 20% of its population is born overseas. Luxembourg (47.4%) and Switzerland (29.9%). Most of the people born overseas in these countries, are from other European countries. In Luxembourg, about 15% of it’s total population is born in Portugal. In Switzerland, a lot of the foreign born population is from neighbouring countries like Germany, France and Italy.
Looking at the other countries, we do see a very clear difference between the western and eastern half of Europe. In most of the eastern European countries, only a few percent of its population was born overseas. The exception are the former Soviet states and the Balkan. In the former Soviet states, the vast majority of the foreign born population are Russian. In the former Yugoslavian countries, most of the foreign born population is from other former Yugoslavian countries.
In Greece, Albanians are by far the largest group of foreign born population. In Italy they also are one of the largest groups of foreign born residents. In both Italy and Spain, Moroccans and Romanians are one of largest groups in the foreign born population.
In the Nordic countries, Polish form a significant part of the foreign born population. Especially in Iceland and Norway. In Sweden and Denmark large groups of the foreign born population are from Middle Eastern countries.
In the UK and Ireland, Polish also form a significant portion of the foreign born population. Other large groups in the UK’s foreign born population are mostly from former British colonies like India and Pakistan.
In Germany, the largest groups of the foreign born population we’re born in Turkey, Poland, Syria and Romania. In Austria the largest group is form Germany, while also having large groups from Romania, Serbia and Turkey. In Belgium the 2 biggest groups are from Morocco and Italy., but also a significant group born in neighbouring countries like the Netherlands and France. In the Netherlands the largest groups were born in Turkey and Morocco or the former Dutch colonies of Indonesia and Suriname.
As we can see, a lot of the largest groups of the foreign born population in European countries are either from neighbouring countries, former colonies, the Middle East, North Africa or Eastern European countries like Poland and Romania.