The British in Europe


European Union: MW 296

Summary

1. Claims that some two million British people are working in other EU states[1] are simply wrong. The number of British workers in the other countries of the European Union, about 407,000[2], is less than one third of the 1.4 million workers from another EU country in the UK. The number of British residents in another EU country, about 930,000, is just over a third of the 2.5 million residents of the UK who come from another EU country.

British workers in the EU

2. The table at Annex A sets out the number of British workers in the EU as recorded by Eurostat for 2011; it gives a total of 407,000. Well over half – 241,000 - are in just three countries Ireland, Germany and Spain[3].

EU residents and workers in Britain

3. The number of workers in Britain from another EU country is published quarterly by the Office for National Statistics. The most recent total is 1.4 million[4] There is an equal split between those from the EU14 countries and those from the EU8 (Eastern European) countries, 739,000 and 707,000 respectively.

Table 1. Number of EU workers in the UK, Quarter 4 2012.

Workers in UK from other EU Countries
EU14739000
EU8707000
Total1446000

4. The Annual Population Survey[5] estimates that there are 2.5 million people living in the UK who are from another EU country. There are sizeable EU communities across the country most notably in London which is home to 770,000 people from another EU country.

British communities in Europe

5. The main British communities are in:

a. Spain – There are almost 370,000 British residents in Spain, of whom 62,000 are working. The remainder are economically inactive of whom 73,000 are over 65.

b. France – The data are patchy and possibly unreliable. Eurostat figures show 46,000 British workers in France. There is no data for the total number of British people living in France but there are 32,000 over 65. In 2006 the IPPR estimated that the total was 200,000 but some may have returned home since.

c. Germany – There 105,000 residents in Germany according to Eurostat, of whom an estimated 73,000 are workers.[6]

d. Ireland – According to Eurostat, there were 217,000 British residents in Ireland of whom 106,000 are workers and 27,000 are over 65.

Annex A

Number of UK born living, working and those over 65 in other EU Countries, 2011

Living in EUWorking in EUOver 65
Austria-48741395
Belgium2361487932684
Bulgaria3042--
Cyprus-91345670
Czech Republic38221732-
Denmark16582107012005
Estonia---
Finland45471465278
France-4591831835
Germany* 104,52673000-
Greece-2755983
Hungary*2486495-
Ireland21661410608027228
Italy68249305595178
Latvia1672--
Lithuania---
Luxembourg-3815383
Malta-24091198
Netherlands47269248072239
Poland47449494-
Portugal-32101424
Romania*-555-
Slovakia*-643-
Slovenia545--
Spain3667406188273366
Sweden20839132792222
Total927996406597158088

* Notes: The number of British workers in Germany is an estimate. The number of British living in Germany and Hungary is based on citizenship rather than place of birth. The number of British workers in Romania and Slovakia is 2010 data.

Sources

1. Eurostat publishes data collected and collated by its member states.

2. IPPR ‘Brits Abroad’ Study (2006) estimated the number of British people living in every country outside of the United Kingdom.

3. ONS Labour Market Statistics.

24 April, 2013

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