Every fifth working-age Romanian (19.7 percent) lives in another EU country in 2017, according to new Eurostat figures. The second largest share of the population living elsewhere in the EU is registered in Lithuania (15 per cent), followed by Croatia (14 per cent), Portugal (13.9 per cent), Latvia (12.9 per cent) and Bulgaria (12.5 per cent). The Germans were the least mobile Europeans, with only 1 percentage living abroad, followed by Britain (1.1 per cent), Sweden and France (both 1.3 per cent).

More than half a million Bulgarians aged 20-64 live and work in abroad, show Eurostat data for working Europeans in this age category which have lived in another EU state other than their home country in 2017. According to the analysis, about 4 per cent of EU citizens have stayed last year in a country other than their citizenship.

The free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the EU Treaty. EU citizens have the right to seek employment in another EU country, to work and live there, with equal rights for citizens in terms of access to employment, working conditions and all other social benefits and tax obligations.

Nearly 4 per cent of the EU population (510 million people in 2017), or about 20 million have remained in a country other than their country, shows Eurostat’s analysis.

According to data from NSI last year, the population in Bulgaria, aged 20-64, was about 4.5 million people. Eurostat’s analysis reported that about 12 percent were Bulgarians who in 2017 remained in another EU Member State, meaning that nearly 550 000 Bulgarians lived and worked outside their country’s homes last year.

In most Member States, the share of foreign workers with higher education is bigger than at home. This is precisely the case with France, where 62.5 percent of the French living in another EU country have higher education. For comparison, this refers to 34.6 percent of France’s population. Germany is second by this indicator, where the ratio was 54.5 per cent and 26.7 per cent respectively.

In six Member States, the population in the country has a bigger share in higher education graduates: Bulgaria, Croatia, Portugal and the three Baltic States Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

At EU level, the share of people with higher education among working-age citizens living abroad exceeds the share of the population with higher education at home by 2.3 percent.