Bulgaria was among six European Union countries where the number of emigrants outnumbered the number of immigrants in 2017, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on March 21.
The others were Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.
A total of 25 597 people immigrated to Bulgaria in 2017 – but of this number, the largest group was Bulgarians returning to the country, 13 060.
Of the remainder, 11 817 were non-EU citizens, 649 were EU citizens, 44 were stateless and 27 were in the category “not known”, according to Eurostat.
The report did not specify the number of people who had emigrated from Bulgaria in 2017, beyond saying that it was larger than the number of immigrants.
Separately, Eurostat said that of the foreign-born population in Bulgaria as of January 1 2018, close to 26 per cent were citizens of Russia, close to 15 per cent were Turkish, about 15 per cent were Syrians, just less than seven per cent were Ukrainians, and just less than five per cent were British.
Eurostat said that a total of 4.4 million people immigrated to one of the EU member states during 2017, while at least 3.1 million emigrants were reported to have left an EU member state. However, these total figures do not represent the migration flows to/from the EU as a whole, since they also include flows between different EU countries, the statistics agency said.
There were an estimated 2.4 million immigrants to the EU-28 from non-EU countries. In addition, 1.9 million people previously residing in one EU country migrated to another member state.
Among these 4.4 million immigrants during 2017, there were an estimated two million citizens of non-EU countries, 1.3 million people with citizenship of a different EU member state from the one to which they immigrated, about a million people who migrated to an EU member state of which they had the citizenship, and some 11 thousand stateless people.
Relative to the size of the resident population, Malta recorded the highest rates of immigration in 2017 (46 immigrants per 1000 inhabitants), followed by Luxembourg (41 immigrants per 1000 inhabitants).
For emigration, the highest rates in 2017 were reported for Luxembourg (23 emigrants per 1000 inhabitants), Cyprus (18 emigrants per 1000 inhabitants), Lithuania (17 emigrants per 1000 persons), and Malta (15 emigrants per 1000 inhabitants), Eurostat said.