Number of UK citizens living in EU countries 2018

In 2018, there were approximately 285 thousand British citizens living in Spain, with a further 145 thousand in France and almost 93 thousand in Germany. By comparison, there were only 283 British people living in Latvia, the fewest of any European Union member state. As a member of the European Union, British citizens currently have the right to live and work in any EU member state, although it is unclear what their legal status will be after Brexit is fulfilled and the UK leaves the European Union.

Britons acquiring EU passports

Due to the uncertainty that Brexit has caused, and with mixed-messages coming from all corners, many British citizens have taken matters into their own hand and switched their UK passports for passports from other EU countries. In 2017 for example, their were over 13 thousand Britons who swapped their British passport for that of another country, more than the previous three years combined.

EU citizens living in the UK

EU citizens living in the UK face the same dilemma that British expats do regarding their legal status after Brexit. In 2018 there were 905 thousand Polish citizens, 414 Romanians, and 331 thousand people from the Republic of Ireland living in the UK in that year, along with almost 2 million EU citizens from the other 24 EU member states.

Estimated number of British citizens living in the European Union in 2018, by member state

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Release date

September 2019



Survey time period

January 1, 2018

Supplementary notes

*Preliminary figure from the Central Statistics Office of Ireland

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Statistics on "Migration in the UK"

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