In 2021, 23.7 million non-EU citizens were living in EU countries, making up 5.3 percent of the total EU population, according to the European statistical office Eurostat.
This number now includes about a million UK citizens, which is no longer an EU member. In comparison, some 13.7 million EU citizens live in an EU state other than their own.
In relation to the national population, citizens from countries that are not part of the EU represent the majority of non-nationals in most EU states.
Eurostat reports that “in absolute terms, the largest numbers of non-nationals living in the EU Member States were found in Germany (10.6 million people), Spain (5.4 million), France and Italy (both 5.2 million). Non-nationals in these four Member States collectively represented 70.3 percent of the total number of non-nationals living in all EU Member States.”
Only in Luxembourg, Cyprus, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands and Slovakia the majority of non-nationals are other EU citizens. In Luxembourg, 47 percent of the population is made of non-nationals)
In relative terms, the EU member states with the highest share of non-EU residents were Estonia (14%), Latvia (13%), Malta (12%), Luxembourg (9%), Austria, Cyprus and Spain (8%), Germany, Greece, Slovenia and Sweden (7%), France, Ireland, Italy and Sweden (6%).
In Switzerland the proportion is 9 percent and in Norway 4 percent, but in both these non-EU states, the majority of foreign residents are EU citizens (16% and 7% of the total population respectively).
Based on data provided by Eurostat, the most common non-EU nationalities in the countries covered by The Local are:
Austria: Serbia (1.4%)
Denmark: Syria (0.6%)
France: Algeria and Morocco (0.9%)
Germany: Turkey (1.6%)
Italy: Albania and Morocco (0.7%)
Norway: Syria (0.6%)
Spain: Morocco (1.6%)
Sweden: Syria (0.9%)
Switzerland: Turkey and North Macedonia (0.8%)