Number of Polish emigrants abroad down 40,000 at end-'19 - stats office

The number of Poles temporarily living abroad fell by 40,000 year-on-year in 2019, new official figures have revealed.

According to the Central Statistical Office (GUS), at the end of 2019 there were 2.415 million Poles with 2.134 million of those living in Europe, down 21,000 on 2018.

Of the European Poles, 2.008 million live in EU countries.

Among the EU countries, most Polish emigrants were in Germany (704,000), Great Britain (678,000), the Netherlands (125,000) and Ireland (112,000).

GUS said 2019 was the second year in a row in which a reduction had been recorded in the number of Poles resident in the UK, with the number down by about 17,000.

"This means that more people have left that country than gone to it," GUS said. "The drop was significantly lower than in 2018 when it was estimated at 98,000."

GUS added that in the remaining European countries either no change was recorded or only a slight difference.

A drop in the number of temporary Polish emigrants was noted, among other countries, in Italy and relatively insignificantly in Germany. A slight increase was observed in the number of Poles residing in the Netherlands and Norway.

"Similar to previous years, the main reason for going abroad was the desire to work there, GUS wrote.