Slovakia is not one of the traditional final destinations for migrants. It is a culturally homogeneous country, which was not affected by the dramatic increase of migration during the twentieth century. Until recently, Slovakia was almost exclusively country of origin of the migrants, in other words a country whose residents used to migrate abroad for various reasons.
It was the accession of the Slovak Republic (SR) to the European Union (EU) and the Schengen Area that caused more significant changes. During the period since 2004, the illegal and asylum migration has decreased and the legal migration has increased eight times. Although the increase of foreign population in Slovakia in years 2004 – 2008 was the second highest among the EU states, the representation of foreigners in population remains low. Today the foreigners make up 3.07 percent of population and their number is slowly, yet continuously increasing: in December 2021, there were about 17 507 more foreigners living in Slovakia than the year before, which means an increase of 11.7%.1
In addition to migration based on social reasons, such as family reunification or marriage to a Slovak citizen, the most significant component of legal migration to Slovakia is currently migration for business purposes, work and study.
(Unless otherwise stated, the following statistics were updated as of 31 December 2021.)
FACTS & FIGURES ON MIGRATION IN SLOVAKIA
167,519: The number of foreigners with residence permits in Slovakia in December 20212
- They represent 3.07% of the total population of Slovakia.3
- Since the accession of SR into the EU in 2004, the number of legally living foreigners in Slovakia has increased almost eight times (from 22,108 migrants in 2004 to 167,519 in December 2021).
- If all the foreigners in SR concentrated in one place, they would create a town with population like Prešov and Žilina together.
3.: Out of all the EU countries, Slovakia has the third lowest proportion of foreigners4
- Only Poland (0.94%) and Romania (0.72%) have lower proportion of foreigners in the total population.
- Out of the neighbouring countries, Czech Republic (5.49%) and Austria (16.55%) all have a higher proportion of migrants.
52.1%: The proportion of the Austrian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Ukrainian citizens in the total population of foreigners in the SR5
- Traditionally, the most numerous category of foreigners in Slovakia is formed by the citizens of neighbouring countries, who are mostly linked to Slovakia by work, family and social relations.
- Another important group of foreigners is formed by the citizens of the south-eastern European countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Serbia), who represent 18.8% of all foreigners in Slovakia.
- In the past, the nationals of these countries formed their communities in Slovakia and their compatriots continue to come to Slovakia because of studies, work or family reasons.
- Foreigners from the Asian countries (Vietnam, China, Korean Republic, Thailand), who were dynamically growing group of foreigners in Slovakia in the past and now the increase in their number has slowed, form together 7.1% of all foreigners in Slovakia; their number amounted to 11,877.
33.5%: The citizens of the EU countries account for one-third of all foreigners in Slovakia
- Most EU countries citizens in Slovakia come from the Czech Republic (12,562). They form 7.5% of the total population of foreigners.6
- Apart from the nationals of Hungary (5.7%) and Poland (3.6%), the citizens of Germany (2.7%) and Italy (1.8%) are also numerous among the EU countries citizens living in Slovakia.
- An important increase of the number of migrants occurred in the past in the case of Romanian nationals (4.3%), who have been coming to Slovakia as workers since their country’s accession to the European Union. In December 2021, 7,016 Romanians were employed in Slovakia, compared to 6,006 Czech citizens.7
1/3: The proportion of Ukrainians in the total number of foreigners in Slovakia (33.7%); Ukrainians are the most numerous group of foreigners in Slovakia both from the EU and outside the EU7
- Considering non-EU nationals in Slovakia, Ukrainians (56,480) are followed by the nationals of Serbia (16,331), Vietnam (7,235), the Russian federation (6,389) and the United Kingdom (2,795).
66.5%: The proportion of non-EU nationals in the overall number of foreigners in Slovakia
- This proportion represents approximately 2.1% of population of the SR.
- If all of non-EU nationals in Slovakia concentrated in one place, with a number of 111,427 people they would form a town as large as Prešov and Lučenec together.
68,188: The number of foreign employees in the SR in December 20219
- Currently, there is one foreign employee per 36 national employees.10
- Since the Slovakia’s accession to the European Union, the number of foreign employees has increased more than twenty times – from 3,351 persons in 2004 to 68,188 in December 2021, including 38,593 non-EU nationals.
- In 2021, foreigners from ca 140 countries were employed in Slovakia, most of Ukraine (19,453), Serbia (9,243), Romania (7,016), Czech Republic (6,006) and Hungary (5,105).11
- Among the foreign workers, men constitute a substantial majority; they form 71% of all employed foreigners.12
1,769: The number of foreigners that in 2021 illegally crossed the borders or illegally resided in the territory of the Slovak Republic13
- Since the accession of the SR into the EU until 2014, the illegal migration to SR has decreased eight times: from 10,946 illegal migrants in 2004 to 1,304 in 2014.
- The number of migrants that illegally crossed the borders or illegally resided in the SR in 2019 amounted to 2,190, in 2020 dropped to 1,295 and increased to 1,769 in 2020.14
370: The number of applications for asylum in the SR in 202115
- In 2021, citizens of Morocco, Afghanistan and Algeria applied for asylum in the Slovak Republic most often.
- From January to December 2021, the Slovak Republic granted asylum to 29 people.
- By comparison, in 2004 11,395 persons applied for asylum in the SR; in last years, the number of applications has stabilized at several hundred per year.16
- From the overall number of 59,695 applications since 1993, asylum was granted to 903 people, whereas 805 people were provided subsidiary protection as another form of international protection.17
1 Bureau of Border and Alien Police of the Presidium of the Police Force (BBAP P PF) – Statistical Overview of Legal and Illegal Migration in the Slovak Republic in 2020 and 2021 (http://www.minv.sk/?rocenky)
2 BBAP P PF – Overview of Legal and Illegal Migration in the Slovak Republic 2021 (https://www.minv.sk/swift_data/source/policia/hranicna_a_cudzinecka_policia/rocenky/rok_2021/2021-rocenka-UHCP-SK.pdf)
3 Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic – Stock of population in the SR on 30th September 2021 (5,452,025) (https://slovak.statistics.sk/wps/portal/ext/products/informationmessages/inf_sprava_detail/3b376799-c2a3-4933-aeea-1d79e187ec0f/)
4 Eurostat – Population by citizenship and residence – Foreigners (Statistics as of 1 January 2020) (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/tps00001/default/table?lang=en, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/tps00157/default/table?lang=en a https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/tps00178/default/table?lang=en)
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7 Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family – Employment of foreigners in the Slovak Republic, as of December 2021 (https://www.upsvr.gov.sk/buxus/docs/statistic/cudzinci/2021/cudzinci_2112.xlsx)
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10 Statistical Office of the SR – Employment in the 3rd quarter of 2021 (2,472,800, after deducting people working abroad) (https://www.susr.sk/wps/portal/ext/products/informationmessages/inf_sprava_detail/e1690032-962c-401b-a04f-b99f788f13c4/).
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14 BBAP P PF – Statistical Overview of Legal and Illegal Migration in the Slovak Republic (from 2000 – 2021) (http://www.minv.sk/?rocenky)
15 Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the SR – Statistical overview of asylum seekers as of December 2021 (https://www.minv.sk/?statistiky-20&subor=433405)
16 Statistics of the Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the SR (http://www.minv.sk/?statistiky-20)
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Last updated on 9 February 2022.