Prague’s Foreign Population Surges with Non-EU Workers

Prague’s Foreign Population Surges with Non-EU Workers

Prague is changing as more people from other countries move to the city. 

Attracted by job opportunities, university education, and city life, the number of foreigners in Prague has skyrocketed.

According to the Institute of Planning and Development (IPR), the number of foreigners living in the Czech capital went from 61,000 in 2001 to 345,000 in 2022.

Ukrainians take the lead

According to IPR data, Ukrainians are the largest group of foreigners in Prague, with 170,000 people at the end of 2022.

This number is probably higher because over 350,000 Ukrainian refugees moved to Prague after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, and most of them stayed in the capital.

Besides Ukrainians, the biggest groups of foreigners in Prague are Slovaks (31,000), Russians (27,000), and Vietnamese (15,000).

There are also 102,000 people from other countries living in Prague.

Foreigners keep Prague’s population stable

The arrival of foreigners has been crucial for keeping Prague’s population steady.

Without them, the population would have decreased by 5,000 between 2016 and 2021.

As of 2022, Prague has 1.38 million residents, even though the city had its lowest number of births since 2007.

Central Bohemia, an area near Prague, also has a significant number of foreigners, with about 159,000 living there.

A younger demographic

The foreign population in Prague is younger than the Czech population.

In 2021, the average age of foreigners was 35.5 years, while the average age of Czech citizens was 43 years.

This younger group helps make the city lively and energetic.

The student factor

Education is a significant reason why many foreigners come to Prague. 

According to a 2022 report by Seznam Zprávy, one in five university students in Prague was born in another country.

The number of foreign students has increased five times in the last twenty years.

Additionally, 45% of foreign graduates decide to stay in Czechia to work after finishing their studies.

A national trend

The growth of Prague’s foreign population is part of a larger trend in the country.

According to the Czech Statistical Office, the number of legally residing foreigners in the country increased by 455,305, reaching 1.12 million in 2022.

Nearly 1 million of these foreigners are working in Czechia.

Czechia welcomes more non-EU workers

To make it easier for foreign workers to come to Czechia, the government has approved a new rule.

Starting in July, citizens from nine more non-European Union (EU) countries can work in Czechia without needing work permits or employment cards

These countries are Australia, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, the UK, the US, Israel, and Singapore.

Attracting highly skilled workers

The new rule is meant to make it easier for experts and managers from other countries to work in Czechia.

The Ministry of Labor said that the chosen countries have low-security risks and that they want to attract highly qualified workers.

Current foreign workers

As of March 2023, Czech labor offices recorded about 10,000 employees from the selected countries.

Over 80% of these workers are in highly skilled jobs.

The US and the UK have the most workers, with 2,505 from the US and 4,434 from the UK.

Benefits for employers and employees

The new rule is expected to make it easier for employers and speed up the process for well-paid foreign workers to enter the Czech labor market.

The Ministry of Labor said that people from these selected countries usually do not live or work illegally in Czechia or apply for asylum.

Czechia’s evolving immigration landscape

As Czechia welcomes more non-EU workers, its immigration policies are changing to support this.

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will improve security for short-term visitors while the new rule allowing people from more non-EU countries to work in Czechia without work permits shows a friendlier approach to long-term immigrants.

This change is part of Czechia’s effort to attract highly skilled foreign workers and keep its population stable despite demographic challenges.

Looking ahead

Prague’s growing foreign population, attracted by jobs, education, and city life, shows the city's increasing international importance.

With Czechia allowing more non-EU workers, this trend is expected to continue, influencing the future of both the city and the country.