Last year, 21,600 people left Lithuania for the United Kingdom, which accounts for 45 percent of all emigrants. The rate was similar in 2016 – emigrants to the UK made 46.2 percent of all emigrants.
After the United Kingdom decided by referendum in mid-2016 to leave the European Union, Lithuania expected its emigrants to the country to grow before it changes immigration rules for EU citizens. However, the data published by Statistics Lithuania on Wednesday demonstrates this was not the case.
According to the statistics, Norway is the second most popular emigration destination, with 5,000 Lithuanian citizens emigrating to the country in 2017 (10.5 pct), followed by Germany (4,100 or 8.6 pct), Ireland (3,400 or 7 pct), Denmark (1,700 or 3.5 pct) and Sweden (1,600 or 3.3 pct).
All in all, 47,900 permanent residents emigrated from Lithuania, which is a decline by 2,400 people or 4.8 percent from 2016.
The United Kingdom is not only the country receiving the largest numbers of Lithuanians but also the country where most Lithuanians come back to – nearly half of all Lithuanian returnees came back from the UK in 2017 – 4,900 or 48.3 percent. The figure was at 44.6 percent in 2016.
The statistics for Norway was 978 or 9.6 percent, Ireland – 807 or 7.9 percent and Germany 643 or 6.3 percent.
Last year, 20,400 people immigrated in Lithuania, including equal shares of Lithuanian citizens and foreigners.
As compared with 2016, the number of returning Lithuanians fell by 4,100 (28.5 pct), while the number of immigrating foreigners went up by 4,300 (factor of 1.7). The immigration number of Ukrainians expanded by a factor of 2.7 and that of Belarusians by a factor of 2.3.