EU-ASEAN cooperation - key migration statistics


Data extracted in March and April 2017.

No update planned for this article.

Highlights
Across all of the EU Member States and ASEAN Member States, Luxembourg and Singapore reported the highest rates of net inward migration for the period 2010–2015.
Around 371 thousand people with the citizenship of an ASEAN country resided on a long-term basis in the EU in 2015.


Natural population change and net migration, annual average 2010–2015
(per 1 000 inhabitants)
Source: the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision)

This article is part of a set of statistical articles based on Eurostat’s publication 40 Years of EU–ASEAN Cooperation — Key statistics. It provides a selection of statistics on the European Union (EU) and its Member States in comparison with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its Member States and covers key indicators concerning population change and migration, with a particular emphasis on people from the EU living in ASEAN and people from ASEAN living in the EU.

Full article

Population change and migration

The distinction between natural population change and the net effect of migration is illustrated in Figure 1 for the period 2010–2015. In eight EU Member States (for example the Baltic Member States), negative rates of natural population change and of net migration were recorded: deaths exceeded births and the number of emigrants exceeded the number of immigrants leading to a contraction in population numbers. In 13 EU Member States (for example France and the United Kingdom) and four ASEAN Member States (for example Malaysia), positive rates for both indicators were recorded, leading to an increase in population. The remaining six ASEAN Member States (for example Indonesia) as well as Ireland and Poland reported a positive natural population change that was greater than their negative net migration (leading therefore to overall population growth); in Spain a similar combination of positive and negative rates was observed but with negative net migration outweighing positive natural population growth. By contrast, negative rates of natural population change combined with positive rates of net migration, leading to an overall population increase in Germany and Italy but a decline in Hungary. Slovakia had balanced migration combined with natural population growth.

Figure 1: Natural population change and net migration, annual average 2010–2015
(per 1 000 inhabitants)
Source: the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision)

Across all of the EU-28 Member States and ASEAN Member States, the two small, wealthy countries of Luxembourg and Singapore reported the highest rates of net inward migration for the period 2010–2015 (see Figure 2). The highest rates of net outward migration were reported by Lithuania, Latvia, Ireland and Romania among EU Member States and Lao PDR among ASEAN Member States.

Most EU Member States and ASEAN Member States recorded either net inward migration (for example Luxembourg and Singapore) or net outward migration (for example Lithuania and Lao PDR) in both the 2005–2010 and the 2010–2015 periods, with only a few exceptions: Greece, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia and Thailand.

Figure 2: Net migration rates, 2005–2015
(per 1 000 inhabitants)
Source: the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision)

Foreign-born population

The share of the foreign-born population was relatively high in some of the wealthier, smaller EU Member States and ASEAN Member States: in 2015, the share of the foreign-born population in Brunei Darussalam was 24.3 %, in Luxembourg it was 44.2 %, and in Singapore it was 45.4 % (see Figure 3). By contrast, 0.5 % or less of the population was foreign-born in more than half of the ASEAN Member States. For comparison, across the world around 3.3 % of the global population was living in a different country from the one in which they were born, a share that rose to an estimated 10.4 % for the EU-28 while it stood at 1.6 % in ASEAN.

Figure 3: Foreign-born population, 2015
(% of total population)
Source: Eurostat (migr_pop3ctb) and the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (Trends in International Migrant Stock)

There were around 9.9 million foreign-born residents in ASEAN in 2015, of which 6.9 million (equivalent to 69.9 %) were from other ASEAN Member States, leaving 3.0 million from outside of ASEAN. The main countries of origin of these immigrants from outside of ASEAN were all Asian: China (709 thousand), Bangladesh (451 thousand), India (344 thousand), Nepal (221 thousand) and Pakistan (171 thousand).

A total of 76.4 thousand people living in ASEAN Member States were from EU Member States, equivalent to 0.8 % of all foreign-born residents in ASEAN and 2.6 % of those born outside of ASEAN. Figures 4 and 5 provide an analysis of where within the EU these migrants come from and where within ASEAN they live. In total, two thirds of these ASEAN residents who were born in EU Member States came from the United Kingdom (66.3 %) with the Netherlands (10.9 %) the only other Member State with a share above one tenth. Collectively more than nine tenths of EU migrants living in ASEAN were born in one of the four largest EU Member States or the Netherlands (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Distribution by Member State of birth of the migrant stock in ASEAN of people born in the EU, 2015
(% of EU total)
Source: Eurostat (migr_pop3ctb) and the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (International Migration)

Considering all 9.9 million foreign-born people living in ASEAN Member States in 2015, two fifths (39.7 %) lived in Thailand, and more than a quarter in Singapore (25.8 %) and Malaysia (25.5 %); just 3.3 % lived in Indonesia and 2.1 % in the Philippines, with 1.0 % or less in each of the other five ASEAN Member States. However, the distribution was very different depending whether these foreign-born people came from another ASEAN Member State or from outside of ASEAN. Focusing on the 6.9 million people born in an ASEAN Member State but living in another ASEAN Member State, more than half (54.6 %) were living in Thailand, with just over a fifth (22.4 %) in Malaysia and just less than a fifth (19.2 %) in Singapore; the shares were 1.2 % or less in the other seven ASEAN Member States. Among the 3.0 million people living in ASEAN Member States but born outside of ASEAN the structure was very different, with just 5.1 % living in Thailand, nearly a third in Malaysia (32.8 %) and more than two fifths (41.2 %) in Singapore; the shares in Indonesia (9.4 %) and in the Philippines (6.9 %) were also much higher.

Among the 76.4 thousand people living in ASEAN Member States who were from EU Member States the structure was again different, with nearly half living in Indonesia (48.7 %), with a fifth in the Philippines (21.0 %) and around one eighth in Malaysia (12.9 %) and Thailand (12.0 %). Nearly 95 % of EU-born residents in ASEAN lived in one of these four countries. The single largest pairing was 30 thousand British born people living in Indonesia, equivalent to 39.9 % of all of the residents in ASEAN who were born in an EU Member State.

Figure 5: Distribution by place of residence of the migrant stock in ASEAN of people born in the EU, 2015
(% of ASEAN total)
Source: Eurostat (migr_pop3ctb) and the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (International Migration)

Figures 6 and 7 show a similar indicator based on citizenship rather than place of birth, looking at long-term residents in the EU-28; this therefore only includes people who have retained their citizenship of a non-EU country. In total, 7.7 million people who were not citizens of an EU Member State were long-term residents within the EU-28 in 2015. Moroccans were the largest group, with 894 thousand, equivalent to 11.6 % of the total. The other leading countries of citizenship were Albania (6.4 %), China (5.5 %), India (5.3 %) and Ukraine (4.6 %).

There were around 371 thousand people with the citizenship of an ASEAN country residing on a long-term basis in the EU-28 in 2015, about 4.8 % of the total number of people with a non-EU citizenship residing long-term in the EU-28. Half (49.9 %) of all citizens of ASEAN countries living as long-term residents in the EU-28 were Filipinos, more than one sixth (17.4 %) were Vietnamese, nearly one seventh (13.9 %) were from Thailand and one tenth (10.6 %) were Malaysians (see Figure 6).

Figure 6: Distribution by citizenship of long-term residents in the EU of citizens of ASEAN countries, 2015
(% of ASEAN total)
Source: Eurostat (migr_reslong)

Among the 7.7 million people who were not citizens of an EU Member State who were long-term residents within the EU-28 in 2015, 2.4 million were living in Italy, accounting for 30.9 % of the total for the EU-28. The next largest groups were in the United Kingdom (27.2 % of the EU-28 total) and Spain (16.9 %); in none of the other EU Member States did this share reach 5.0 % and in more than half of the EU Member States their share of the total number of non-EU citizens residing long-term in the EU-28 was less than 1.0 %.

Two fifths (40.4 %) of the 371 thousand ASEAN citizens residing long-term in the EU-28 were living in the United Kingdom, more than a quarter (27.1 %) in Italy and around one eighth in the Czech Republic (12.7 %); more than four fifths of the citizens of ASEAN countries in the EU-28 lived in one of these three Member States. The relatively high share in the Czech Republic reflects the fact that 47 thousand Vietnamese were long-term residents there: they constituted 99.1 % of all citizens of ASEAN countries in the Czech Republic and 72.1 % of Vietnamese citizens who were long-term residents anywhere in the EU. This was the third highest pairing of citizens of an ASEAN country residing long-term in an EU Member State, lower only than the 62 thousand Filipinos residing long-term in the United Kingdom and the 95 thousand Filipinos residing long-term in Italy; the latter made up one quarter (25.6 %) of all citizens of ASEAN countries residing long-term in the EU-28.

Figure 7: Distribution by place of residence of long-term residents in the EU of citizens of ASEAN countries, 2015
(% of EU total)
Source: Eurostat (migr_reslong)

Whereas Figures 6 and 7 looked at the stock of citizens of ASEAN countries living on a long-term basis in the EU-28, Figures 8 and 9 look at those who received a permit to stay (for various periods of validity) for the first time (or after an interruption in their stay) in an EU Member State. In the period 2013–2015 there were on average 135 thousand such first permits issued each year to citizens of ASEAN countries: more than two fifths (41.6 %) were for Filipinos, just under one sixth (15.6 %) were for people from Thailand, just over one seventh (14.7 %) were for Vietnamese people, more than one ninth (11.6 %) were for Indonesians and one tenth (9.8 %) were for Malaysians.

Figure 8: First permits in the EU for citizens of ASEAN countries, by citizenship, average 2013–2015
(% of EU total)
Source: Eurostat (migr_resfirst)


Figure 9: Distribution by place of residence in the EU of first permits for citizens of ASEAN countries, average 2013–2015
(% of EU total)
Source: Eurostat (migr_resfirst)

More than half (53.4 %) of these first permits given to citizens of ASEAN countries were for residence in the United Kingdom, with the largest pairing being an average of 37 thousand first permits given each year to Filipinos to live in the United Kingdom, 25.9 % of all first permits given between 2013 and 2015 to citizens of ASEAN countries living in the EU-28.

Migration for education purposes

The final two figures in this article (Figures 10 and 11) look at a particular subset of resident permits (in this case not restricted to just first permits), namely those issued for education purposes, in other words to study in an EU Member State.

Comparing Figures 6 (long-term residents) and 8 (first permits) on one hand and Figure 10 (permits for education purposes) on the other, there are two major differences: the Philippines does not figure among the top five ASEAN countries of citizenships for permits for education purposes; the share of such permits issued to Malaysians was particularly high, some 36.0 % of the total issued to citizens of all ASEAN countries.

Figure 10: Distribution by citizenship of citizens of ASEAN countries who are holders of resident permits for education purposes in the EU, 2015
(% of ASEAN total)
Source: Eurostat (migr_resvalid)

Figures 7 (long-term residents) and 9 (first permits) may be contrasted with Figure 11 (permits for education purposes) with quite different patterns in terms of the destination of citizens of ASEAN countries within the EU-28. Although the United Kingdom received the largest share of citizens of ASEAN countries in all three cases, the share for educational purposes was much larger, passing two thirds (69.0 %). This reflects not only historical ties with several of the ASEAN Member States but also in part the reputation of British academic institutions and the use of English as the language of instruction. Two other large EU Member States figure among the most common destinations for education permits: in Germany the number of resident permits for education purposes for citizens of ASEAN countries was dominated by large numbers of students from Vietnam and Indonesia; in France the vast majority of such permits were for Vietnamese students, also reflecting historical ties. These were followed by Ireland (with students mainly from Malaysia) whose large share may also be explained in part by the widespread use of English for teaching and the Netherlands (with students mainly from Indonesia) which again has historical ties with some of the ASEAN Member States and where English is increasingly used as the language of instruction in tertiary education establishments. The relatively high share of citizens of ASEAN countries (particularly Vietnamese) with permits for educational purposes in Finland also reflects in part the widespread use of English as the language of instruction in tertiary education establishments and the absence (until very recently) of fees for international students.

Figure 11: Distribution by place of residence of citizens of ASEAN countries who are holders of resident permits for education purposes in the EU, 2015
(% of EU total)
Source: Eurostat (migr_resvalid)

Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

The indicators presented are often compiled according to international — sometimes global — standards. Although most data are based on international concepts and definitions there may be certain discrepancies in the methods used to compile the data.

Most of the indicators presented for the EU and its Member States have been drawn from Eurobase, Eurostat’s online database. In exceptional cases some indicators for the EU have been extracted from international sources.

For ASEAN and its Member States, the data presented have been extracted from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

For many of the indicators, multiple international statistical sources are available, each with their own policies and practices concerning data management (for example, concerning data validation, the correction of errors, the estimation of missing data, and the frequency of updating). In general, attempts have been made to use only one source for each indicator in order to provide a comparable analysis between the EU Member States or between the ASEAN Member States.

Context

Many factors influence levels of migration. Broadly these can be categorised as push factors in a migrant’s country of origin and pull factors in the destination country. Economic issues (for example job opportunities or the cost of living), political stability, freedom of expression/opinion and environmental issues are some of the major drivers of migration, along with narrower factors such as access to and the affordability of education.

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Population (demo_pop)
Population on 1 January by age group, sex and country of birth (migr_pop3ctb)
Residence permits (migr_res)
Residence permits by reason, length of validity and citizenship (migr_resval)
First permits by reason, length of validity and citizenship (migr_resfirst)
All valid permits by reason, length of validity and citizenship on 31 December of each year (migr_resvalid)
Long-term residents by citizenship on 31 December of each year (migr_reslong)