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In 2006, about three million foreign immigrants settled in a country in the EU27

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EurostatIn 2006, about three million foreign immigrants settled in a country in the EU27. These immigrants can be divided into two groups based on their citizenship: citizens of EU27 Member states (1.2 million persons) and non-EU27 citizens (1.8 million).

EU27 citizens migrating to a Member State, of which they were not citizens, accounted for 40% of foreign immigrants. The remaining 60% of foreign immigrants were almost equally divided between citizens of countries in Europe outside the EU27, Asia, America and Africa, with each accounting for about 15%.

In 2006, the largest foreign immigrant groups in the EU27 were citizens of Poland (about 290 000 persons), Romania (about 230 000), Morocco (about 140 000), the United Kingdom, Ukraine and China (each about 100 000) and Germany (about 90 000).

These figures are extracted from a report issued by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. The immigration data are compiled from available national sources, completed by Eurostat estimates where necessary. Due to differences in coverage and definitions, the data are not fully comparable and must be interpreted with care. The report also includes information about the gender and age composition of immigrants.

Highest immigration rates in Luxembourg, Ireland, Cyprus and Spain

In 2006, the largest number of foreign immigrants was recorded in Spain (803 000 persons), Germany (558 500) and the United Kingdom (451 700), who together received 60% of all foreign immigrants in the EU27.

When compared with the population in the Member State of destination, the highest rate of foreign immigration in the EU27 was recorded in Luxembourg (28.8 foreign immigrants per 1 000 inhabitants), followed by Ireland (19.6), Cyprus (18.7), Spain (18.1) and Austria (10.3) Malta stood at 1.6, compared with the EU27 average of 6.2 foreign immigrants per 1 000 inhabitants. Rates were 1 foreign immigrant per 1 000 inhabitants or less in Poland, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia.

Highest share of non-EU27 immigrants in Slovenia, Romania, Portugal and the Czech Republic

In 2006, 60% of foreign immigrants in the EU27 Member States were not EU27 citizens. In 17 of the 24 Member States, for which data were available, a majority of the foreign immigrants were non-EU27 citizens. The highest shares of immigrants from non-EU27 countries were registered in Slovenia (90%), Romania (86%), Portugal (84%) and the Czech Republic (83%).

In seven Member States a majority of the foreign immigrants were EU27 citizens. These Member States were Luxembourg (84%), Ireland (77%), Germany (57%), Hungary and Slovakia (both 54%), Austria (53%) and Belgium (51% in 2003).

In some Member States immigration was concentrated in certain citizenships. The Member States with the highest concentration of immigrants from one single country were Romania, where 56% of the foreign immigrants were citizens of Moldova, the Czech Republic (46% citizens of Ukraine), Slovenia (43% citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Greece (42% citizens of Albania).

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