One in every nine Romanians, namely 11 per cent of Romania’s population of 19.9 million or a total of 2 million persons are working in Western Europe, according to a recently published Eurostat survey concerning the foreign nationals that live in the European Union. According to the survey, Romanian immigrants in the West are more numerous than the Moroccan (1.9 million in the EU), Turkish (1.8 million) and Polish immigrants (1.7 million).
Most Romanians live in Italy (1.1 million), Spain (730,000) and Germany (240,000). The rest of them are in Greece (40,000), Portugal (34,000), Hungary (31,000) and Cyprus (20,000). The survey, which ranks the top five countries that are a source of immigrants for all EU states, does not offer data on the number of Romanians living in the United Kingdom, which could stand in the tens of thousands range.
“Romania is one of the top five countries that gave the biggest number of emigrants to eight of the EU member states,” the Eurostat survey shows. Poland, another country from this region, is one of the top five countries in a ten-nation table at EU level. Poland is the strongest economy in the region, and the average salary in Poland is two-times higher than in Romania. Poland’s population too is almost two times higher than Romania’s population, and only 4 per cent of Poles, namely 1.5 million people, have decided to emigrate.
Poles top the immigration rankings in Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands and United Kingdom, while Romanians do so in Spain, Italy and Hungary.
Most Romanians chose to emigrate starting in 2007, when Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union. Back then, the elimination of visas and red tape determined the Romanians to leave abroad looking for better conditions. Officially, Italy has received most Romanian emigrants, namely 1.1 million.
The second destination country is Spain, approximately 3.6 per cent of Romanians living there, namely 728,000 persons. Cultural and linguistic similarities between these countries and Romania have prompted Romanians to choose them as their destinations. Germany, Europe’s strongest economy, is third with approximately 245,000 Romanian immigrants.