Immigration to Europe increased from the 1980s onward, as a result of people from developing countries wanting to escape war, oppression, natural disasters or poverty. Some EU countries saw a dramatic growth in immigration after World War II until the 1970s. Most European nations today (particularly those of the EU-15) have sizeable immigrant populations, many of non-European origin. In the European Union, as the EU citizenship implies freedom of movement and residence within the EU itself, the term "immigrant" is mostly used to refer to extracomunitarian (i.e. non-EU) citizens.
From Pre-history to World War IIEdit
Prehistorical and historical migrations to Europe include the first colonisation of Europe by Homo sapiens (Cro Magnon) in the Upper Paleolithic, migrations in the wake of the Last Glacial Maximum and the Neolithic Revolution, the Bronze Age Indo-European expansion, the Iron Age Celtic expansion, the Barbarian invasions of the early centuries AD (Germanic and Slavic expansions), the Turkic, the Islamic rule in South-Western Europe, Magyar and Mongol expansions of the High Middle Ages, the arrival of the Romani people (gypsies) in the Late Middle Ages, and in more recent times the population movements due to World War II.
From WWII to the 1970sEdit
Until the late 1960s and 1970s, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom were primarily sources of emigration, sending large numbers of emigrants to the Americas, Australia and other European countries (notably France, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium). As living standards in these countries have risen, the trend has reversed and they were a magnet for immigration (most notably from Morocco, Somalia, Egypt to Italy and Greece; from Morocco, Algeria and Latin America to Spain and Portugal; and from Ireland, India, Pakistan, Germany, the United States, Bangladesh, and Jamaica to the United Kingdom).
From the 1980sEdit
Migration within Europe after the 1985 Schengen AgreementEdit
As a result of the 1985 Schengen Agreement, there is free travel within Europe. Citizens of European Union member states and their families have the right to live and work anywhere within the EU because of EU citizenship but citizens of non-EU or non-EEA states do not have those rights unless they possess the EU Long Term Residence Permit or are family members of EU citizens. Nevertheless, all holders of valid residence permits of a Schengen State have the unrestricted right to travel within the Schengen Area for tourist purposes only, and for up to three months. This is seen by many experts as an encouragement to work illegally within the Schengen zone.
A large proportion of immigrants in western European states have come from former eastern bloc states in the 1990s, especially in Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. There are frequently specific migration patterns, with geography, language and culture playing a role. For example, there are large numbers of Poles who have moved to the United Kingdom and Ireland, while Romanians and also Bulgarians have chosen Spain and Italy. In fact, with the earlier of the two recent enlargements of the EU, although most countries restricted free movement by nationals of the acceding countries, the United Kingdom did not restricted for the 2004 enlargement of the European Union and received Polish, Latvian and other citizens of the new EU states. Spain was not restricted for the 2007 enlargement of the European Union and received many Romanians and Bulgarians as well other citizens of the new EU states.
Many of these Polish immigrants to UK have since returned to Poland, after the serious economic crisis in the UK. Nevertheless, free movement of EU nationals is now an important aspect of migration within the EU, since there are now 28 member states, and has resulted in serious political tensions between Italy and Romania, since Italy has expressed the intention of restricting free movement of EU nationals (contrary to Treaty obligations and the clear jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice).
Another migration trend has been that of Northern Europeans moving toward Southern Europe. Citizens from the European Union make up a growing proportion of immigrants in Spain, coming chiefly from the United Kingdom and Germany, but also from Italy, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc. British authorities estimate that the population of UK citizens living in Spain is much larger than Spanish official figures suggest, establishing them at about 1,000,000, with 800,000 being permanent residents. According to the Financial Times, Spain is the most favoured destination for Western Europeans considering to move from their own country and seek jobs elsewhere in the EU.
Immigration from outside Europe since the 1980sEdit
Some scholars, like sociolinguists (Hayley Johnson and Katlyn Archer), have said that the increase in immigration flows from the 1980s, are an expression of the growing of global inequalities between poor and rich countries.
In May 2009 the European Commission adopted the EU Blue Card. This permit will make it easy for skilled third-country workers to live and work in any of the participating EU member states. Legislation is now in place on a European level, gradually member states will start accepting applicants to this program. Pre-registration started in January 2010.
As of 2008, the French national institute of statistics INSEE estimated that 5.3 million foreign-born immigrants and 6.5 million direct descendants of immigrants (second generation born in France with at least one immigrant parent) lived in France representing a total of 11.8 million and 19% of the country's population. About 5.5 million are of European origin, 4 million of Maghrebi origin, 1 million of Sub-Saharan African origin and 400,000 of Turkish origin. Among the 5.3 million foreign-born immigrants, 38% are from Europe, 30% are from Maghreb, 12.5% from Sub-Saharan Africa, 14.2% from Asia and 5.3% from America and Oceania The most important individual countries of origin as of 2008 were Algeria (713,000), Morocco (653,000), Portugal (580,000), Italy (317,000), Spain (257,000), Turkey (238,000) and Tunisia (234,000). However, immigration from Asia (especially China), as well as from Sub-Saharan Africa (Senegal, Mali) is gaining in importance.
The region with the largest proportion of immigrants is the Île-de-France (Greater Paris), where 40% of immigrants live. Other important regions are Rhône-Alpes (Lyon) and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (Marseille).
Among the 802,000 newborns in metropolitan France in 2010, 27.3% had at least one foreign-born parent and about one quarter (23.9%) had at least one parent born outside Europe. Including grandparents, almost 40% of newborns in France between 2006 and 2008 had at least one foreign-born grandparent (11% born in another European country, 16% born in Maghreb and 12% born in another region of the world).
The number of immigrants in Norway was per 1 January 2012 approximately 547,000. Including the ca. 108,000 people born in Norway as children of immigrants, the "immigrant population" corresponds to 13.1% of the total population. The cities or municipalities with the highest share of immigrants are Oslo (27%) and Drammen (22%). The five largest immigrant groups in Norway are in turn Polish, Swedish, Pakistanis, Iraqi and Somali.
In the years since 1970, the largest increase in the immigrant population has come from countries in Asia (including Turkey), Africa and South America, going from ca. 3500 in 1970 to ca. 300,000 in 2011. In the same period, the immigrant population from Nordic countries and Western Europe has increased modestly from around 42,000 to around 130,000.
The governmental public report called the "Integration Barometer 2009" (Integreringsbarometeret 2009), based on a survey from 2005 to 2009, showed widespread dissatisfaction with the country's immigration policy. The survey found that more than half of Norwegians wished that Norway should not let in more immigrants to the country, and one of every two citizens thought that the integration of immigrants worked poorly.
In 2004 the number of people who became naturalised British citizens rose to a record 140,795 - a 12% increase from the previous year, and a dramatic increase since 2000. Most new citizens came from Asia (40%) or Africa (32%); the largest three countries of origin were India, Pakistan and Somalia with Indians making the largest group. In 2005, an estimated 565,000 migrants arrived to live in the United Kingdom for at least a year, primarily from Asia and Africa, while 380,000 people emigrated from the country for a year or more, chiefly to Australia, Spain and the United States.
The total immigrant population of the country now exceeds 4,235,059 million, about 7.1 percent of the population (2010). Since the expansion of the European Union, the most recent wave of migration has been from surrounding European nations, particularly Eastern Europe, and increasingly Asia, replacing North Africa as the major immigration area. Some 900,000 Romanians are officially registered as living in Italy, replacing Albanians and Moroccans as the largest ethnic minority group, but independent estimates put the actual number of Romanians at double that figure or perhaps even more. Others immigrants from Central-Eastern Europe are Ukrainians (200,000), Polish (100,000), Moldovans (90,000), Macedonians (81,000), Serbs (75,000), Bulgarians (54,000) East German people (41,000), Bosnians (40,000), Russians (39,600), Croatians (25,000), Slovakians (9,000), Hungarians (8,600). (  As of 2009, the foreign born population origin of Italy was subdivided as follows: Europe (53.5%), Africa (22.3%), Asia (15.8%), the Americas (8.1%) and Oceania (0.06%). The distribution of foreign born population is largely uneven in Italy: 87.3% of immigrants live in the northern and central parts of the country (the most economically developed areas), while only 12.8% live in the southern half of the peninsula.
Since 2000, Spain has absorbed around six million immigrants, adding 12% to its population. The total immigrant population of the country now exceeds 5,730,677 (12.2% of the total population). According to residence permit data for 2011, more than 710,000 were Moroccan, another 410,000 were Ecuadorian, 300,000 were Colombian, 230,000 were Bolivian and 150,000 were Chinese; from the EU around 800,000 were Romanian, 370,000 (though estimates place the true figure significantly higher, ranging from 700,000 to more than 1,000,000) were British, 190,000 were German, 170,000 were Italian and 160,000 were Bulgarian. A 2005 regularisation programme increased the legal immigrant population by 700,000 people that year. By world regions, in 2006 there were around 2,300,000 from the EU-27, 1,600,000 from South America, 1,000,000 from Africa, 300,000 from Asia, 200,000 from Central America & Caribbean, 200,000 from the rest of Europe, while 50,000 from North America and 3,000 from the rest of the world.
Portugal, long a country of emigration, has now become a country of net immigration, from both its former colonies and other sources. By the end of 2003, legal immigrants represented about 4% of the population, and the largest communities were from Cape Verde, Brazil, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, the United Kingdom, Spain, China and Ukraine.
Immigration has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of Sweden. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior.
As the Swedish government does not base any statistics on ethnicity, there are no precise numbers on the total number of people of immigrant background in Sweden. As of 2010 however, 1.33 million people or 14.3% of the inhabitants in Sweden were foreign-born. Sweden has been transformed from a nation of emigration ending after World War I to a nation of immigration from World War II onwards. In 2009, immigration reached its highest level since records began with 102,280 people emigrating to Sweden. In 2010, 32000 people applied for asylum to Sweden, a 25% increase from 2009, the highest amount in Swedish history. In 2009, Sweden had the fourth largest number of asylum applications in the EU and the largest number per capita after Cyprus and Malta. Immigrants in Sweden are mostly concentrated in the urban areas of Svealand and Götaland and the five largest foreign born populations in Sweden come from Finland, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Poland and Iran.
Immigration has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of Finland. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior.
At the end of 2010, there were 248,135 foreign born people residing in Finland, which corresponds to 4.6% of the population. Proportionally speaking, Finland has had one of the fastest increases in its foreign-born population between 2000 and 2010 in all of Europe. The majority of immigrants in Finland settle in the Helsinki area, although Tampere, Turku and Kuopio have had their share of immigrants in recent years.
In France, the National Front seeks to limit immigration. Major media, political parties, and a large share of the public believe that anti-immigration sentiment has increased since the country's riots of 2005.
Public anti-immigrant discourse started in Italy in 1985 by the Bettino Craxi government, which in a public speech draw a direct link between the high number of clandestine immigrants and some terrorist incidents. Public discourse by the media hold that the phenomenon of immigration is uncontrollable and of undefined proportions.
In Germany, the National Democratic Party opposes immigration.
In Denmark, the parliamentary party most strongly associated with anti-immigration policies is the Danish People's Party.
Switzerland has a history of anti-immigration which dates to the early 1970s and the campaigns of James Schwarzenbach. Since the 1990s, the topic has been dominated by the conservative-liberal Swiss People's Party, led by Christoph Blocher.
The largest party in Sweden that seeks to reduce immigration are the national conservative Sweden Democrats. The most frequently used arguments against Sweden's immigration policies center around the high crime and unemployment rates and tendencies to segregation among immigrants from non-western countries. The Sweden Democrats argue that it is necessary for Sweden to reduce immigration in order to cope with the major integration issues that the country struggles with.
Statistic data on immigrant populationsEdit
2010 data for European UnionEdit
In 2010, 47.3 million people lived in the EU, who were born outside their resident country. This corresponds to 9.4% of the total EU population. Of these, 31.4 million (6.3%) were born outside the EU and 16.0 million (3.2%) were born in another EU member state. The largest absolute numbers of people born outside the EU were in Germany (6.4 million), France (5.1 million), the United Kingdom (4.7 million), Spain (4.1 million), Italy (3.2 million), and the Netherlands (1.4 million).
|Country||Total population (millions)||Total Foreign-born (millions)||%||Born in other EU state (millions)||%||Born in a non-EU state (millions)||%|
According to the list of countries by immigrant population, based on the United Nations report World Population Policies 2005. The European countries that have the highest net foreign populations are:
|Spain||4,790,000||10.8||5.7 million, 12.2% (2010).|
|Italy||2,519,000||4.3||The number of immigrants has risen steeply since the publication of the UN report. According to a 2010 British report, the number is now close to 4.3 million, 8%. According to a 2010 Italian report, the total number of foreigners has risen up to 5 million, 10%.|
The European countries with the highest proportion or percentage of non-native residents are small nations or microstates. Andorra is the country in Europe with the highest percentage of immigrants, 77% of the country's 82,000 inhabitants. Monaco is the second with the highest percentage of immigrants, they make up 70% of the total population of 32,000; and Luxembourg is the third, immigrants are 37% of the total of 480,000; in Liechtenstein they are 35% of the 34,000 people; and in San Marino they comprise 32% of the country's population of 29,000.
Countries in which immigrants form between 25% and 10% of the population are: Switzerland (23%), Latvia (19%), Estonia (15%), Austria (15%), Croatia (15%), Ukraine (14.7%), Cyprus (14.3%), Ireland (14%), Moldova (13%), Germany (12.3%), Sweden (12.3%), Belarus (12%), Spain (10.8%, 12.2% in 2010), France (10.2%), and the Netherlands (10%). The United Kingdom (9%), Greece (8.6%), Russia (8.5%), Slovenia (8.3%), Iceland (7.6%), Norway (7.4%), Portugal (7.2%), Denmark (7.1%), Belgium (6.9%) and the Czech Republic (6.7%), each have a proportion of immigrants between 10% and 5% of the total population.
Eurostat data reported in 2006 that some EU member states as receiving "large-scale"[need quotation to verify] immigration. The EU in 2005 had an overall net gain from international migration of 1.8 million people, which accounted for almost 85% of Europe's total population growth that year. In 2004, a total of 140,033 people immigrated to France. Of them, 90,250 were from Africa and 13,710 from elsewhere in Europe. In 2005, the total number of immigrants fell slightly, to 135,890.
Approximate populations of non-European origin in Europe (approx. 20 - 30+ millions, or 3 - 4% (depending on the definition of non-European origin), out of a total population of approx. 831 million):
- Turks (excluding Turks from Turkey and North Cyprus): approx. 9 million (this estimate does not include the 10 million Turks within the European portion of Turkey), mostly in Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Austria and Belgium (see Turks in Europe)
- Arabs (including North African and Middle Eastern Arabs): approx. 5 million, mostly in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece and Russia. (see Arabs in Europe)
- Black Africans (including Afro-Caribbeans and others by descent): approx. 5 million; mostly in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal (in Spain and Portugal Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin American are included in Latin Americans).
- Indians: approx. 2.5 million; mostly in the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands.
- Tamils: approx. 130,000 in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark
- Pakistanis: approx. 1.1 million; in the United Kingdom, but also 60,000 in Italy, Spain, and Norway.
- Bengali: approx. 600,000 mostly in United Kingdom, but also 85,000 in Italy, 35,000 in France, Spain, Sweden and Greece.
- Latin Americans (includes Afro-Latin Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Native Americans, White Latin Americans, miscegenation, etc.): approx. 2.2 million; mostly in Spain (c. 1.8 million) but also in Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and some in Germany.
- Armenians: approx. 2 million, mostly in France, but also in Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Ukraine and Italy
- Berbers: approx. 2 million, mostly in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain
- Kurds: approx. 2 million, mostly in Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, UK and France
- Chinese: approx. 1 million; mostly in Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and Russia
- Filipinos: approx. 500,000; mostly in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Germany
- Vietnamese: approx. 300,000; mostly in France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia and UK
- Iranians: approx. 250,000; mostly in the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.
- Horn Africans: approx. 200,000 Somalis; mostly in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.
- Assyrians/Chaldeans/Syriacs: approx. 200,000; mostly in Sweden, Germany, Russia and the Netherlands
- Japanese: approx. 100,000; mostly in the United Kingdom and Germany
- Calefato (1994) pp.80-1 quote:
La presenza di questi immigrati in Europa non e' semplicemente finalizzata alla ricerca di un lavoro, (per lo piu' come camerieri, venditori ambulanti, braccianti stagionali, ecc.). Le migrazioni del nostro tempo pongono con forza una "domanda di accoglienza" (v. Ponzio 1993), cioe' una domanda non contenibile nel mercato e nell'"integrazione", che evidenzia, anche inconsapevolmente, le divaricazioni crescenti sul nostro pianeta tra poverta' e ricchezza.
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- BBC article: Brits Abroad
- BBC article: Btits Abroad Country by Country
- Guardian article: Spain attracts record levels of immigrants seeking jobs and sun
- Bye Bye Blighty article: British Immigrants Swamping Spanish Villages?
- Guardian article: An Englishman's home is his casa as thousands go south
- BCC article: 5.5m Britons 'opt to live abroad'
- BBC article: More Britons consider move abroad
- Être né en France d’un parent immigré, Insee Première, n°1287, mars 2010, Catherine Borrel et Bertrand Lhommeau, Insee
- Répartition des immigrés par pays de naissance 2008, Insee, October 2011
- Naissances selon le pays de naissance des parents 2010, Insee, septembre 2011
- Parents born in overseas territories are considered as born in France.
- Les immigrés, les descendants d'immigrés et leurs enfants, Pascale Breuil-Genier, Catherine Borrel, Bertrand Lhommeau, Insee 2011
- Personer med innvandringsbakgrunn, etter innvandringskategori, landbakgrunn og kjønn. 1. januar 2012 (in Norwegian) Statistics Norway retrieved January 12, 2013
- Most new immigrants from the new EU countries Statistics Norway, retrieved January 12, 2013
- "Immigrants in total". Statistics Norway. 2011.
- Brustad, Line (29 May 2010). "Mener integreringen er mislykket". VG Nett.
- BBC Thousands in UK citizenship queue
- 1,500 immigrants arrive in Britain daily, report says
- Indians largest group among new immigrants to UK
- "Immigrazione in Italia, 5 milioni di stranieri regolari."
- "Brits Abroad: Country-by-country". BBC News. 11 December 2006.
- Tremlett, Giles (26 July 2006). "Spain attracts record levels of immigrants seeking jobs and sun". The Guardian (London).
- British Immigrants Swamping Spanish Villages?
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- Immigration Shift: Many Latin Americans Choosing Spain Over U.S.
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- Immigrants Fuel Europe's Civilization Clash
- Spanish youth clash with immigrant gangs
- 5,598,691 foreign population in Spain (2009), Spanish National Statitistic Institute press report, INE (Spain). June 3, 2009. (Spanish)
- Portugal - Emigration
- Charis Dunn-Chan, Portugal sees integration progress, BBC
- Statistics Sweden.  Befolkningsutveckling; födda, döda, in- och utvandring, gifta, skilda 1749–2007
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- Marazziti and Riccardi (2005) pp.40-1 quote:
La «vulgata» difunde la idea de que el fenomeno es de dimensiones incontrolables e indefinibles, y se llega a formular la afirmacion comun de que hay tantos, o mas, extranjeros clandestinos como extranjeros visibles y regulares.
[...] la inmigracion [...] ha entrado en el imaginario de los miedos o de las extrañezas. Progresivamente, el lenguaje que se utilizara sera el de orden publico, de las varias «tolerancia cero».
[...] Se evocan banalmente los choques de civilizaciones para dar dignidad al prejuicio. El mecanismo es antiguo, pero la sociedades no estan vacunadas contra ellos.
- 6.5% of the EU population are foreigners and 9.4% are born abroad, Eurostat, Katya VASILEVA, 34/2011.
- MoveEurope - immigration to Europe process research team, Artis Zelmenis, 2/2014.
- 5.6 million foreign population in Spain (2009). Spanish National Statitistic Institute press report, INE (Spain). June 3, 2009. (Spanish) 5.7 million foreigners in Spain (2010). El País
- “Immigrants should be citizens”, press report, ANSA. November 3, 2009.
- “Italy wakes up to the realities of immigration”, The Guardian. February 21, 2010.
- UN statistics as of 2005, see list of countries by immigrant population.
- Eurostat News Release on Immigration in EU
- Europe: Population and Migration in 2005
- Inflow of third-country nationals by country of nationality
- Immigration and the 2007 French Presidential Elections
- Cole, Jeffrey (2011), Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, p. 367, ISBN 1-59884-302-8
- France's blacks stand up to be counted
- Latin American Immigration to Southern Europe
- Youths bring violence from a war-torn land
- Calefato, Patrizia (1994) Europa fenicia: identità linguistica, comunità, linguaggio come pratica sociale
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