Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Free EU movement sees 400,000 Romanians, Bulgarians in UK

12 Oct 2017, 03:55 ( 5 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
File Photo Xinhua.

 The number of people living in Britain from Romania and Bulgaria now exceeds 400,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a report Wednesday.

     ONS figures show there were 413,000 citizens of Romania and Bulgaria living in Britain in 2016. The figures compared with just 6,200 British citizens living in Romania and Bulgaria.

     When Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, they became known as the EU2, but they weren't given immediate unrestricted rights of residence or work in the UK. However, since 2014, they have been free to work and live in the UK like other EU citizens.

     The latest ONS analysis shows that 81 percent of EU2 citizens living in Britain between 2014 and 2016 were aged between 16 and 64, and nearly 80 percent of those were in employment.

     Romanian citizens made up 78 percent of the EU2 population in Britain, numbering around 256,000. In employment, for both Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, they mostly worked in distribution, hotels and restaurants industry, and the construction industry.

     Bulgarians and Romanians represented around 11 percent of all EU nationals working and living in Britain in 2016.

     Over in Europe, the majority of the 3,900 British migrants living in Bulgaria are aged 50 and over, while those living in Romania are predominantly aged 30 to 49.

     Rich Pereira, ONS Deputy Director for Population Statistics, said: "The picture of migration between the UK and the EU2 countries clearly shows a somewhat lop-sided balance of movement, with the UK evidently proving an attractive labor market for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens since those countries' full accession to the EU."

     "This presents an obvious area of concern for both those large numbers of citizens who have moved to the UK, and for the jobs they have been doing, as the UK continues its negotiations to leave the EU." 

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