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Without foreigners, the employment rate over the past few years wouldn't have risen at all.

There are almost 600,000 foreigners living in the Czech Republic. Most of them from third countries

Kateřina Ostrejšová
26.Jan 2021
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2 minutes
Žena stojí před kanceláří.

According to the latest data from the Czech Statistical Office, there are almost 600,000 foreigners living in the Czech Republic. Compared to 2018, there was an increase of about 29 thousand people, which is about 5.1%. Although the Czech Republic is still one of the countries with a below-average share of foreigners in Europe, the number of people with foreign citizenship has increased rapidly in the past decade. The residence of foreigners in the Czech Republic is mainly related to their professional career.

Third country citizens are in the lead

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Lidé na ulici.
Lidé na ulici. Source:

The number of foreigners in the Czech Republic is strongly dominated by persons from third countries - about 59% of them. The remaining percentages are made up of people from the European Union. Among foreigners from third countries, those who have been granted a permanent residence permit are in the lead. In contrast, foreigners from EU countries are dominated by those who are registered for permanent residence.

"The number of foreigners with permanent residence has grown steadily and has more than doubled since 2006. On the other hand, temporary stays, which are linked to economic cycles, began to increase significantly again only after 2015, after a slump during the economic crisis,"

Jarmila Marešová, CZSO expert on international migration, comments on the long-term development.

Men are the majority

Men constitute a clear majority among foreigners in the Czech Republic (58%). In terms of the breakdown by citizenship, citizens of Slovakia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria have the highest representation among EU citizens registered by labor offices. Among third country nationals it's Ukrainians (144 thousand), followed by citizens of the Russian Federation, Vietnam, Mongolia, Belarus and Moldova.

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Muž pracuje na počítači.
Muž pracuje na počítači. Source:

The younger productive age is the most numerous

The categories of younger productive age (30-39 years) are the most strongly represented. More than a quarter of foreigners are in this age range. The group of people in pre-productive age reaches 13.9% of the total number. A very low proportion falls on people in the post-productive age (65+). Only 5.7% of the foreign population is in this category.

Luxusní dům na prodej, okolí Prahy - 298m
Luxusní dům na prodej, okolí Prahy - 298m, Okolí Prahy

Foreigners employed in the Czech Republic

According to MPO data, the number of foreigners employed in the Czech Republic reached a total of 715,651 at the end of 2019. The percentage of foreign workers this year was 14.7% of the total number of employees. Compared to 2018, the number of foreigners in the position of employees in particular grew (621.9 thousand compared to 598.5 thousand).

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Muži v rouškách v kanceláři.
Muži v rouškách v kanceláři. Source:

"Without foreigners, employment in the Czech Republic would not have grown at all in recent years. The share of foreigners among the total number of employees increased from 5.5% in 2010 to 14.7% in 2019,"

says Dalibor Holý, Director of the Labor Market and Equal Opportunities Statistics Department of the CZSO. As a result of the measures against the covid-19 pandemic, the demand for foreign labor decreased, and workers were laid off or relocated. At the end of June 2020, about 20,000 fewer foreigners were registered compared to the end of 2019.

Slovaks lead in employment

The coronavirus situation in 2020 mainly affected employees. While at the end of 2019, the Labor Office of the Czech Republic (ÚP) registered 621.9 thousand employees with non-Czech citizenship, in mid-2020 there were 602.5 thousand of them. In 2019, EU citizens made up the majority of foreigners registered with labor offices (61.6%), with Slovaks reaching the highest number and percentage (202,000). Within the EU, citizens of Poland, Romania and Bulgaria follow. More than a third of the remaining foreigners registered by labor offices were foreigners from third countries. As of June 30, 2020, the numbers that decreased the most were those of Ukrainians (to 133 thousand; by 7.7%) and Slovaks (to 199 thousand; by 1.3%).

Most foreigners (28.7% of the total number of foreigners registered with labor offices) were employed in the manufacturing industry. Administrative and support service activities followed, as well as wholesale, retail and construction. On the other hand, the sector with the lowest representation of employed foreigners was once again public administration; required social security.

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