About 12.5 per cent of Bulgarians of working age – defined as 20 to 64 – were living in another EU member state in 2017, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on May 28.
This is an increase of eight percentage points since 2007, when the percentage was 4.5 per cent of Bulgarians.
Eurostat said that 3.8 per cent of EU citizens of working age (20-64) were residing in another member state than that of their citizenship in 2017. This share has increased from 2.5 per cent ten years ago.
The situation varies among EU countries, ranging from one per cent for working age citizens of Germany to 19.7 per cent for citizens of Romania.
Tertiary graduates are generally more mobile than the rest of the population. 32.4 per cent of mobile EU citizens have tertiary education, while the share for the entire EU population is 30.1 per cent.
The employment rate of mobile EU citizens is also higher than that of the entire population: 76.1 per cent, compared with the total EU employment rate of 72.1 per cent, Eurostat said.
The free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
EU citizens are entitled to look for a job in another EU country, work there without a work permit, live there and enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages.
In 2017, Romanian nationals of working age (20-64) residing abroad within the EU accounted for about a fifth (19.7 per cent) of their co-nationals residing in Romania.
The next largest shares were recorded by Lithuania (15.0 per cent), Croatia (14.0 per cent), Portugal (13.9 per cent), Latvia (12.9 per cent) and Bulgaria (12.5 per cent).
The EU member states with the smallest share of mobile nationals (out of the total-country population) are Germany (one per cent), the United Kingdom (1.1 per cent), Sweden and France (both 1.3 per cent).
Compared with 2007, the share of Romanian nationals living in another member state has increased by 12.3 pp. Latvia (10.0 pp.), Lithuania (9.5 pp.) and Bulgaria (8.0 pp.) also registered a significant increase.
At the opposite end of the scale, the share of Cypriot nationals residing abroad decreased from 7.1 per cent in 2007 to 3.9 per cent in 2017.
For most EU countries, a higher share of working age nationals abroad have tertiary education than the home population. This is in particular the case for France (62.5 per cent of the French living in another EU member state have tertiary education, compared with 34.6 per cent for the resident population of France) and Germany (54.5 per cent and 26.7 per cent respectively) where the difference reaches 28 pp.
In six Member States, however, it is the home population that has a higher share of tertiary education graduates: Bulgaria, Croatia, Portugal and the three Baltic countries Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
On the EU level, the share of people with tertiary education for working age citizens living outside their member state exceeds the tertiary education share of the resident population by 2.3 pp, Eurostat said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)