Which European Nations Are Seeing The Most Emigration (& Where Are They Going?)

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024 - 09:45 AM

Immigration into the EU has been a hot topic since 2011. In fact, in several EU countries, immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the population. But what of the EU’s emigration patterns?

Visual Capitalist's Pallavi Rao charts out the number of EU emigrants by their country of citizenship in 2022. Data for this visualization is sourced from Eurostat.

Which EU Country Had the Most Emigrants in 2022?

Germany and Spain had the highest number of emigrants in the EU in 2022, both measuring more than half a million people.

Interestingly, while German emigrants prefer moving to Switzerland and Austria, Spanish migrants often end up in Germany.

Here’s a full list of 27 EU member states and their emigration numbers in 2022, both as number of people and as a percentage of the population. Data for SwitzerlandNorway, and Liechtenstein has also been included for context, but is not part of the visualization, nor contributes to the overall EU number.

RankCountryEmigrants (2022)% of Population (2022)
1🇩🇪 Germany533,4850.64%
2🇪🇸 Spain531,8891.11%
3🇫🇷 France249,3550.37%
4🇵🇱 Poland228,0060.62%
5🇷🇴 Romania202,3111.06%
6🇮🇹 Italy150,1890.25%
7🇨🇭 Switzerland*122,1231.39%
8🇳🇱 Netherlands109,6160.62%
9🇧🇪 Belgium84,6270.72%
10🇬🇷 Greece80,3070.77%
11🇦🇹 Austria74,2710.82%
12🇩🇰 Denmark62,9271.07%
13🇮🇪 Ireland61,1331.19%
14🇭🇺 Hungary58,4080.61%
15🇸🇪 Sweden50,5920.48%
16🇭🇷 Croatia46,2871.20%
17🇳🇴 Norway*32,5360.60%
18🇨🇿 Czech Republic31,7640.30%
19🇵🇹 Portugal30,9540.30%
20🇸🇮 Slovenia20,9560.99%
21🇨🇾 Cyprus17,9581.43%
22🇱🇺 Luxembourg17,2272.64%
23🇱🇻 Latvia16,6800.89%
24🇫🇮 Finland15,6350.28%
25🇱🇹 Lithuania15,2700.54%
26🇧🇬 Bulgaria13,1750.20%
27🇲🇹 Malta13,1662.48%
28🇪🇪 Estonia9,6570.72%
29🇸🇰 Slovakia4,4680.08%
30🇱🇮 Liechtenstein*4801.22%
N/A🇪🇺 EU2,730,3130.61%

*Not in the EU, but part of the European Free Trade Area or the European Economic area. Emigrants counted by country of citizenship, not birth.

As a percentage of the population, Malta and Luxembourg had slightly more than 2% of their 2022 populations emigrate.

Across the EU, almost 3 million people left their countries of citizenship in 2022. About half of them moved between member states and 1 million left the union all together.

For comparison, slightly more than 5 million people immigrated into the union in the same year. The top three destination countries were the same as the top three by emigrants: Germany, Spain, and France.

Immigration is seen as a way for aging countries to boost their workforce numbers and bring down their old-age dependency ratio. However, per Eurostat’s estimates, current immigration into the EU will not reverse aging trends.