Warsaw, Poland – At nearly half a million, the number of foreigners living in Poland has reached its highest level in recent years.
400,000 foreigners in Poland in 2019
According to the government’s Office for Foreigners (link in Polish), there are now 400,000 foreigners living on a permanent basis in Poland. Although a significant hike compared to the previous years, foreign-born nationals still roughly account for only 1% of Poland’s population (compared to 5% in neighbouring Czech Republic, for instance).
According to official data, most of the foreigners come to Poland for work-related residence permits, and are mostly men aged below 40. Over half of them are aged between 20 and 39 years old, and 31% aged 40 to 59. Overall, men account for over 60% of the total number of foreigners holding permanent residence permits in Poland.
Ukrainians account for half of foreigners in Poland
So, where do they come from? Unsurprisingly, Ukrainians make up the bulk of foreign nationals in Poland, with nearly 200,000 of them having been granted long-term residence in the country – an increase by 72,000 in two years.
Over the past few years, and despite its notoriously anti-immigration rhetoric, Poland has overseen the largest influx of non-EU nationals in the bloc in facilitating the arrival of Ukrainian workers to address growing labour shortages.
Many Ukrainians, however, don’t have permanent residence permits, and often go back-and-forth across the border and only hold temporary jobs in Poland.
Number of nationals from Belarus, India and Georgia growing rapidly
Second biggest foreign-born community, Belorussians total at 23,000 – a 170% increase over two years – followed by Germans (21,000) and Russians (12,000).
Other sizable foreign-born communities in Poland includes citizens from Vietnam (12,000), India (9,600), China (8,700), Italy (8,400), the U.K. (6,000) and Spain (5,800). Although still relatively few, Indians are the third fastest-growing foreign community in Poland after Ukrainians and Belorussians, and followed by Georgians.
To know more about the foreigners’ community in Poland, feel free to read our dedicated segment on the issue!