EU statistics on international migration

This article presents European Union (EU) statistics on international migration, population stocks of national and foreign (non-national) citizens and data relating to the acquisition of citizenship.

Migration is influenced by a combination of economic, political and social factors: either in a migrant’s country of origin (push factors) or in the country of destination (pull factors). Historically, the relative economic prosperity and political stability of the EU are thought to have exerted a considerable pull effect on immigrants.

In destination countries, international migration may be used as a tool to solve specific labour market shortages. However, migration alone will almost certainly not reverse the ongoing trend of population ageing experienced in many parts of the EU.

Migration flows
A total of 3.4 million people immigrated to one of the EU-28 Member States during 2013, while at least 2.8 million emigrants were reported to have left an EU Member State. These total figures do not represent the migration flows to/from the EU as a whole, since they also include flows between different EU Member States.

Among these 3.4 million immigrants during 2013 there were an estimated 1.4 million citizens of non-member countries, 1.2 million people with citizenship of a different EU Member State from the one to which they immigrated, around 830 thousand people who migrated to an EU Member State of which they had the citizenship (for example returning nationals or nationals born abroad), and around 6.1 thousand stateless people.

Germany reported the largest number of immigrants (692.7 thousand) in 2013, followed by the United Kingdom (526.0 thousand), France (332.6 thousand), Italy (307.5 thousand) and Spain (280.8 thousand). Spain reported the highest number of emigrants in 2013 (532.3 thousand), followed by the United Kingdom (316.9 thousand), France (300.8 thousand), Poland (276.4 thousand) and Germany (259.3 thousand). A total of 16 of the EU Member States reported more immigration than emigration in 2013, but in Bulgaria, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Portugal, Romania and the three Baltic Member States, emigrants outnumbered immigrants.