At the end of 2020, there were 738,000 people with Polish citizenship living in Great Britain, which means that their number in the second half of 2020 decreased by 77,000, data from the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) released on Friday shows.
According to the data, published every six months, this was the second consecutive significant decrease in the number of Polish citizens in Great Britain, following the 83,000 in the first half of 2020 – the largest drop in a six-month period since the commencement of mass migrations of Poles began after Poland’s accession to the EU and the opening of the British labour market in 2004.
The data also indicates that over the entire year of 2020, the number of Polish citizens decreased by 162,000 and almost reached the 2013 level of 736,000.
ONS said that number of Polish citizens in Great Britain continued to grow between 2004 and 2016, and then fell slightly. But at the end of 2017 it reached a record high of 1.02 million. Since then, a reverse trend began, and a significant decrease of 80,000 was seen between the middle and the end of 2018. In 2019 the number stabilised – at the level of 900,000 – and fell again significantly in 2020.
Polish citizens remain by far the largest group of foreigners living in Great Britain. Their number is almost twice as high as the second largest group, Romanian citizens, at 384,000. They are followed by the citizens of Ireland, India and Italy.