In recent years Poland has become one of the most frequently chosen countries in Europe for immigrants. A popular destination is a former capital, famous not only for its beauty and monuments but primarily for many opportunities in the education field and job market. What is the current situation of migrants in Cracow?
How many migrants are in Cracow?
At the end of 2021, immigrants already constituted approx. 10% of Crakow’s population. Despite the domination of Ukrainian citizens, the migrant community became increasingly ethnically diverse. The number of such national groups (along with Ukrainians) as Belarusians, Georgians, Russians and Indians, but also Spaniards, Italians, British, Brazilians and Moldovans is still growing.
In 2021, foreigners lived in all districts of Cracow, but their concentration varies significantly between these administrative areas. Data from the base for legalizing the stay of the MUW show that the highest concentration of foreigners was visible in the districts of Old Town (5.9 thousand), Dębniki (5.4 thousand), Podgórze (4.7 thousand), and Prądnik Biały (4.6 thousand). Immigrants from only these four districts accounted for about 43% of the population of foreigners in Cracow.
In 2021, there was an over 100% increase in the number of applications for international protection – from 2,800 people who applied for protection in 2020 to 7,700 by the end of December 2021. The latter statistics have changed significantly not so much due to the increased influx of migrants across the Polish-Belarusian border and the border crisis lasting from mid-2021, but due to the relocation of over a thousand Afghans and granting refugee status or subsidiary protection to Belarusians persecuted by Lukashenka.
Why Cracow is good for immigration?
Despite the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Poland remains an attractive destination for migrants from various parts of the world. As shown by Eurostat data, this country for another year in a row recorded the highest rates of residence permits for foreigners to work in the European Union.
Immigrants come to the Małopolskie Voivodeship and Cracow itself for economic reasons. The Polish economy in 2021 grew by 5.7%, which also translated into increased demand for labor and wages.
Statistics show that the majority of migrants are young people (mostly men) in their twenties and thirties. Cracow is known for its exceptionally good universities and diverse labor market. Educated candidates fluent in foreign languages do not have problems finding a decent job. For this reason, a significant percentage of people from abroad that were studying in Cracow decided to remain in Poland.
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All data presented in this article comes from “Imigranci w Krakowie w 2021 Roku” – a report made by Konrad Pędziwiatr, Marcin Stonawski, and Jan Brzozowski from the Center for Advanced Population and Religious Research (Cracow University of Economics); visit Imigranci w Krakowie w 2021 roku.
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