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de Mariana Bechir , 12.3.2018

Despite the Brexit, the UK has strengthened in 2016 its position as a preferred country for Romanians who go to work abroad, according to the latest INS data.

Statistics also confirm an important phenomenon that has recently occurred:

while the number of young people aged between 25 and 34 who leave is decreasing, the number of people aged above 45 is growing and more strongly, of older people.

More and more people over 45 emigrate

INS data also reflects a trend: the number of people over 45 who leave is increasing and the share of young people is decreasing, compared to the last years, with a return to the flows existing before the crisis as regards Romanians with work experience and seniority.


  • in the 45-49 category, the number of those who left went up from 9,613 persons in 2011 to 15,546 – in 2016
  • in the 55 – 59 category, there were 7,567 emigrants in 2016, compared to 5,702 in 2011

The phenomenon overlaps with the evolution of the two cohorts: in 2016, compared to 2015, the number of Romanians aged over 45 is increasing and the number of those under 34 is decreasing.

But it is more massive in the case of the elderly, a proof that more and more Romanians have settled there and now bring their parents along.

The trend is more noticeable in the evolution over the whole 2008 – 2016 period (for which there is such information).

Increases are even more significant, in the context that more than 300,000 Romanians had emigrated in 2008, while in 2016 – there were almost 210,000.

It is also noticeable that the ratio between genre categories has also maintained – the number of emigrated men continues to exceed the number of women, unlike what happened during the crisis, when women were finding a job more easily (usually for assisting the elderly).

UK, new Romanians’ favourite. Italy went down to second position, far behind

Almost 30% of the Romanians who emigrated in 2016 chose the UK, while Italy, the country with the largest Romanian diaspora (almost 1.2 million people), was the destination country for only 21% of those who left:

Source: INS

It is confirmed the sharp upward trend that occurred before 2014 when the UK was forced to allow Romanians and Bulgarians to access the labour market.

In absolute terms, 62,650 Romanians chose this country in 2016, compared to 44,000 people who turned to Italy:

Overall, more than 151,000 Romanians arrived in the island in the first three years after the liberalization of the labour market, the largest number being registered in the year when the British voted for leaving the EU.

Germany ranks third in the list of destination countries, also on an upward trend, and this country surpassed Spain in 2016.

The increase (by 50%) in the number of those who chose Austria is also impressive – 12,400 persons in 2016, compared to 8,000 in 2015.

In this context, the stake of Romanian authorities is increasing in the negotiations regarding the Brexit, for protecting the rights of Romanians living and working in the UK.

Irrespective of the declared intention to bring emigrated Romanians back, the state may face a new pressure on the budget.

There are no studies on these Romanians’ qualifications.

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Publicat la data de 12.3.2018

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