Foreigners now comprise one-tenth of the Czech Republic's total population

A rapid rise in the number of Ukrainians last year has pushed the number of foreigners residing in Czechia past 1 million.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 13.12.2023 16:11:00 (updated on 13.12.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

The number of legally residing foreigners in the Czech Republic surged by 455,305 to reach 1.12 million people by the end of last year, constituting 10 percent of the total population, according to data released today by the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO).

Six in 10 foreigners from Ukraine

The notable increase in 2022 was largely attributed to refugees fleeing the conflict-ridden Ukraine. Ukrainians emerged as the largest foreign community in the Czech Republic, numbering over 630,000, surpassing citizens from Slovakia and Vietnam.

where do most foreigners in czechia come from?

  • 1.Ukraine: 636,282
  • 2.Slovakia: 117,265
  • 3.Vietnam: 66,340
  • 4.Russia: 43,498
  • 5.Romania: 19,724
  • 6.Poland: 17,884
  • 7.Bulgaria: 17,673
  • 8.Germany: 14,032

CZSO migration expert Jarmila Marešová explained: "Citizens of Ukraine began arriving in the early 1990s, primarily for work, but their numbers were low at that time. The share of Ukrainian citizens has today reached almost 60 percent of the total number of foreigners in our country."

Most foreigners concentrated in Prague and the Central Bohemian region, with approximately 345,300 and 159,000 individuals respectively residing in these areas last year.

FOREIGNERS in CZechia among most employed globally

  • According to the Expat Economy Index by global insurance provider William Russell, foreign workers in Czechia have the fourth-highest employment rate out of all surveyed countries worldwide.
  • Almost 80 percent of all foreign workers are employed in Czechia – higher than the 74.1 percent employment rate among Czechs.
  • Foreign employees in Czechia have the second-lowest unemployment rate out of all 26 countries assessed. Just 3.3 percent of foreigners in Czechia are jobless (not in work, training, or education), compared with a national average of 2.9 percent.

FEATURED EMPLOYERS

CZSO head Marek Rojíček noted that the surge in 2022 was predominantly among foreigners with temporary residence. At the close of December, 70 percent of foreigners held temporary residence permits, while approximately 30 percent possessed permanent residence permits. Additionally, there were 2,456 foreign citizens with asylum status in the Czech Republic.

More women and children in Czechia

Last year witnessed a significant rise in the proportion of women among foreigners due to the arrival of mothers with children from Ukraine. The statisticians reported: "The representation of women reached a majority of 51 percent, for the first time since records began.” The figure stood at 43.5 percent just two years ago.

Moreover, the share of children under 14 increased from 10.6 percent in 2021 to 16.5 percent in the past year.

Fewer Russians, more people from Asia

While the number of Romanians increased by 5 percent year on year, that of Russians decreased by approximately 1,870 people. Statisticians observed a significant rise in the number of citizens from the Philippines, Kazakhstan, and India among foreigners with a lower presence in the Czech Republic in the past year.

Almost 1 million foreigners work in Czechia

Labor and social affairs ministries' statistics indicated that around 905,000 foreigners were employed in the Czech Republic in 2022. Ukrainian citizens played a crucial role in the domestic labor market, with 38 percent more Ukrainians working in Czechia year on year.

Most Ukrainians were engaged in the manufacturing industry, administration, and construction, often working as auxiliary and unskilled workers. At the close of last year, about 270,000 Ukrainians worked in Czechia, with 31,000 holding valid trade licenses.

Which countries are most foreign workers from?

  • 1.Ukraine: 269,911
  • 2.Slovakia: 213,447
  • 3.Poland: 49,074
  • 4.Romania: 46,457
  • 5.Bulgaria: 37,067

Czech Minister of Labor Marian Jurečka said earlier this year that Czech companies currently lack around 200,000 workers and need to recruit foreigners to fill in the gap. The government is thus proposing measures to increase the number of foreign workers in the country by 20,000 annually. It is especially targeting workers from countries in the Balkans region, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and India, among others.

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