Experts reveal how many Belarusians have moved to EU

People choose more comfortable countries than Belarus / Reuters
People choose more comfortable countries than Belarus / Reuters

In 2021-2022, 143.6 thousand to 170.9 thousand people moved from Belarus to the EU. The lower limit of those who left is comparable to the population of Vorsha district, while the upper limit is the number of inhabitants of Baranavichy, the eighth largest city in Belarus.

These are the results of the BEROC study "Migration from Belarus to the EU countries in 2021 and 2022". The experts made calculations based on Eurostat data, statistics on issued visas, residence permits, data on subsidiary protection and taxes paid by Belarusians.


Migration of Belarusians has multiplied

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Archive photo of the Baranavichy railway station with an inscription in Polish "Baranowicze-Poleskie". Most Belarusians go to Poland /

Most Belarusians are moving to Poland. At the beginning of 2023, 65 thousand citizens of Belarus, who had the right to permanent residence in Poland, lived there. In 2022 almost 70 thousand people applied for this status. Of them 41,5 thousand received decisions, but not yet the documents on acquisition of the status of permanent residence. In total, more than 100 thousand people could live permanently in Poland by the beginning of 2023. By the end of 2020 it will be less than 45 thousand.

The second place is occupied by Lithuania. According to the Migration Board of Lithuania, 48.8 thousand Belarusians lived there at the beginning of 2023. This is almost 17.8 thousand more than in the previous year. However, among them may be those who came for a few months to work, for example.

"The growth of the number of migrants from Belarus to Lithuania in 2021-2023 can be estimated in the corridor between the annual increase of the number of Belarusians living in the country and the number of applications for residence permits, i.e. from 25.4 to 37.9 thousand people," the study says.

The total number of those who went to another country for permanent residence is even higher. After all, Belarusians have also moved to Georgia, Uzbekistan, other CIS countries, as well as Asian countries, North and Latin America. 


"There is a lack of people"

This has sad consequences for the Belarusian economy, says Anastasia Luzgina, a senior researcher at BEROC:

"The bad demographic situation, i.e. the low birth rate, is compounded by the migration process. This already has negative consequences, we see that the labor market is narrowing. Labor resources and the number of employed people are decreasing. At the same time, unemployment remains low, which means that there are simply no people.

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