Czechia has over 300,000 Ukrainian refugees, according to new official data

Although the majority of Ukrainians are in some form of employment, they also struggle financially.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 06.04.2023 07:30:00 (updated on 05.04.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

There are around 325,000 Ukrainian refugees currently in Czechia with temporary protection visas, according to data from the Interior Ministry presented Wednesday.

Czechia has issued over half a million temporary protection visas to Ukrainians since February 2022. Around 40 percent of all recipients have either returned home or gone to a different EU country. 

Czechia hosts the highest amount of refugees per capita in the whole EU.

Prague has by far the greatest share of people coming in from the war-torn country, numbering 79,000 people; at 24 percent, this is also the largest percentage of Ukrainian holders of temporary protection per number of inhabitants among Czech regions. Almost 45,000 refugees have settled in the surrounding Central Bohemia region, which has the second-highest percentage of temporary protection holders from Ukraine.

The refugees are mostly women and children

Two-thirds of all Ukrainian refugees are women and there are slightly under 100,000 Ukrainian children in Czechia. A report from earlier this year found that about 30,000 Ukrainian teenagers under 18 were unaccompanied by a parent or guardian, and less than half of children of secondary-school age were enrolled in the Czech education system.

Employed, but still struggling

Latest available data shows that 56 percent of all adult refugees are employed, with the vast majority doing low-skilled jobs. Out of all employed refugees, seven out of 10 are women.

A separate study by PAQ Research found that about 3 in 4 Ukrainians reported living in financial hardship and 80 percent cannot cover any expenses exceeding CZK 13,600 monthly. 

Some refugees are eligible for state support

During the first six months of residence in Czechia, Ukrainian refugees who are struggling financially can receive up to CZK 4,860 monthly and obtain subsidized, or in some cases free, housing. Almost half of all refugees (45 percent) have free housing in Czechia – in June 2022 this figure was at 64 percent.

The Czech state has spent around CZK 30 billion on Ukrainian refugees. The largest share – CZK 10 billion – has gone on social benefits.

So far, almost 300,000 of all refugees with temporary protection visas issued in 2022 have asked for their stay to be prolonged by a further 12 months.

Despite challenges, thousands of Ukrainians still come to Czechia

Language is a major obstacle for Ukrainians in everyday life and finding employment. PAQ Research found that around one in three Ukrainian refugees knew no Czech, barring a few phrases. A February survey found that almost four in 10 refugees wanted to return home after the end of the war.

According to the Interior Ministry, about 2,500 Ukrainian refugees are entering Czechia on average every week.

About six in 10 Czechs currently approve of their country’s acceptance of Ukrainian refugees – with no near-term end to the war in sight, successful and harmonious integration will be of high priority to the Czech government in the months ahead.

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