Nearly 4 million illegal migrants in the EU: Pew Research

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There are between 100,000 and 200,000 foreigners staying in the Czech Republic without proper residence status, according to a 2017 study by the American Pew Research Center. In the broader European Union, there were 3.9 million illegal immigrants.

The number of foreigners in the Czech Republic without proper residence status is the same as in Austria, Greece and Spain, according to Pew study. In the case of Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, there are less than 100,000 undocumented migrants.

The Pew study includes data from 28 EU countries, as well as four countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

About seventy percent of all migrants without residence permissions lived in only four EU countries: Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

According to the Pew Research Center, between 1 million and 1.2 million undocumented foreigners lived in Germany while between 800,000 and 1.2 million lived in the UK. In Italy, it was between 500,000 and 700,00 while in France it was between 300,000 and 400,000 undocumented migrants.

Compared to 2014, the number of migrants living illegally in 32 European countries increased. Five years ago, the Pew Research Center estimated the number of undocumented foreigners to be between 3 million to 3.7 million.

The Pew study defined a foreigner without proper residence status as a person whose application has not yet been dealt with by state authorities or a person who has already been rejected and ordered to leave the country. The authors of the study also included foreigners who remained in one of the European countries after their visa had expired or those who crossed the border illegally and did not apply for any form of legal residence.

In terms of nationality, 30 percent of all migrants without EU or EFTA residence permits come from Asia and the Pacific area, mainly from Afghanistan.

Furthermore, 23 percent of undocumented migrants come from non-EU and EFTA countries, 21 percent come from North Africa and the Middle East, and  17 percent of illegal migrants come from sub-Saharan Africa.

Most of the migrants were men under the age of 35.

The study also pointed out that the total number of people who stayed in the EU or EFTA territory in 2017 without a proper residence permit corresponds to one percent of the population. In the United States, however, it is three percent.

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