Sunday, August 05, 2007

Latvians in Ireland and UK: the numbers

Two weeks ago, I wrote about Latvians (and other Eastern Europeans) who have left Latvia to work in Ireland and UK. Here is what the numbers are. Both Ireland and UK maintain detailed statistics on the number of Eastern Europeans who have arrived there. In Ireland, the new residents have to obtain PPS numbers (Irish counterpart of Latvian personas kods or US Social Security Number) and the government tracks the number of those. Here are the data:

In UK, the Eastern Europeans who work there have to register through Worker Registration Scheme (WRS). Here are their numbers:
It's not quite 1.5 or 2 million of Poles in UK that some newspapers have reported. I mentioned that number in my previous post, but, when I look at it again, it turns out that 1.5-2 millions include Poles who have visited UK as tourists. The actual number of Polish workers in UK is 393,000 but that is still quite big.

And both in Ireland and UK, Poles outnumber the other Eastern Europeans. That is not surprising since Poland has much more people than any of the other countries. Here is what the numbers look as a percentage of population for the respective countries:
It's actually Lithuanians who have been the quickest to leave their country. 3.3% of Lithuania's population has ended up working in UK or Ireland. (Since UK only registers those foreigners who work there, the percentage of working-age Lithuanians who have left is probably 5-6%.) Latvia is second, with 2.5% of population gone. Slovakia is third and Poland is fourth. That surprised me a bit, because there are so many newspaper stories about Poles in UK and hardly any about Slovaks. Estonia is fifth. The emigration rates from Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovenia are much smaller.

Curiously, UK data say that more than half of arriving Eastern Europeans intend to work there for 3 months or less. So, some of people counted in those graphs may have actually gone back. I wonder if that actually happens or whether people are lying on their worker applications for some strange reason.

I will have another post with numbers from UK and Ireland in a few days, including a new trend that has not been noticed by the media yet...

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