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18 December 2018

Indicators of immigrant integration 2018 - Annual statistical report

Cover of the report

The Observatory for Migration has published the 2018 statistical report on the integration of immigrants in Portugal. The report is composed of 15 thematic chapters ranging from demographic trends to the labour market, health, education, and social security, to name a few.


In 2017, women of foreign nationality accounted for 10% of all live births in Portugal, although the foreign population was only 4.1% of the total resident population. This is particularly important in a country where the fertility rate is one of the lowest in the world.


At the basic and secondary education levels, students of foreign nationality show lower levels of school success compared to Portuguese students. However, there has been a positive change since the beginning of the decade, with a reduction of the gap between these two groups of students.


In 2016, about 51% of foreign workers were employed in job groups 7 (skilled workers in industry, construction and craftsmen), 8 (plant and machine operators, assembly workers) and 9 (unskilled workers), while only 39% of Portuguese workers were in the same job groups. However, the prevalence of foreigners in these groups has decreased compared to the previous decade.

Foreign workers still had lower average wages in 2016 compared to Portuguese workers (-5%), although there has been a slight narrowing of the wage gap; it was -7% in 2013 and -8% in 2014. On average, Portuguese employees earned wages of €923.98 whereas foreigners earned €882.04, with Guinea-Bissauans having the lowest average earnings (€600.07).

Social security

There was a net positive contribution by foreign nationals to the Portuguese Social Security system, reaching € 418.5 million in 2016 and € 514.3 million in 2017. This last figure is the highest ever reached since the beginning of the 21st century.


Between 2007 and 2017, almost 449,691 people were granted Portuguese citizenship (10 times more than during the 1996-2006 period). Since 2007, Portugal has ranked first among countries with the best access to citizenship, and it is among the countries with the best results in acquisitions of nationality per total number of foreign residents (2nd place among OECD countries in 2016, only surpassed by Sweden).

Housing and discrimination

The report also points out that, in issues like housing and racial discrimination, there are still challenges to be overcome. In 2017, third-country nationals had an overcrowding rate of 31.1% whereas Portuguese citizens had a much lower rate of 7.6%. The proportion of interviewees who thought that discrimination was common or very common grew from 53% in 2012 to 64% in 2015.

See the previous edition of the report

Report in Portuguese
(6.48 MB - PDF)


Catarina Reis de Oliveira (coord.) and Natália Gomes
Geographic area
Contributor type
National governmental actor
Original source
Posted by
Alina Esteves
Country Coordinator

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