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European Website on Integration
22 November 2021

Portugal: Population increases due to migration for fourth consecutive year

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According to Statistics Portugal (Instituto Nacional de Estatística) the country's population has grown in size for the fourth consecutive year: the number of permanent immigrants (67 160) in 2020 surpassed the number permanent emigrants (25 886), leading to a positive migration balance of 41 274. This has compensated for the country's negative natural growth rate, with the population seeing a positive growth rate of 0.02% overall in 2020.

Further, 59 817 foreigners acquired Portuguese citizenship in 2020. This number is almost double that of the same figure for 2019 (30 469), leading to hope for the improved integration of migrants in the country. For many researchers and practitioners, the granting of citizenship is a truly essential way of fostering integration in a host society.

The Portuguese Foreigners and Borders Office (SEF) reported that until 15 October this year, the main reasons for the granting of new residence permits to migrants in Portugal were professional activity, family reunification and study. New arrivals this year have mostly arrived from Brazil, with 32 574 Brazilians having obtained a residence permit in Portugal for the first time, followed by Indians (6 484), Italians (4 551), French (4 105) and Angolans (3 873). Portugal currently hosts 702 214 documented foreign citizens in total, which is an increase of approximately 6% in comparison with December 2020.

According to government communications in Portugal, foreign workers are understood to be essential to the country's economic activity. Correspondingly, Portuguese authorities have signed a framework convention for promoting and facilitating the mobility of qualified staff in the Ibero-American space, particularly young people, students, professors, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors.


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Posted by
Alina Esteves
Country Coordinator

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