The document is based on data collected by the Emigration Observatory, a research centre from Iscte - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, with the institutions responsible for immigration statistics.

The 2021 Emigration Report indicates that, in that year, around 60,000 Portuguese emigrated, 15 thousand more than in 2020, the year in which the lowest number of departures in 20 years was recorded, partly due to the impact of the Covid pandemic.

The document states that, between 2019 and 2020, “emigration had a drop of around 44%, as a result of the combined effects of the pandemic crisis and Brexit [the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union]”.

“The lockdown policies posed obstacles to mobility and produced a global economic crisis of major proportions that explain the abrupt halt in international migrations”, write the authors.

In 2021, half of the Portuguese who did so in 2013 emigrated. With the exception of 2020, only in 2003 were such low values recorded. With a peak in 2013, since that year there has been a downward trend in emigration.

In 2021, migration began “a remarkable recovery”, having grown, in Portugal, by around 33% compared to 2020.

Even so, “they have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels but are, once again, on a growth trajectory”.

The authors of the report consider that “it is still too early to know whether this growth will be sustainable or whether emigration will stabilize at a lower level than what was envisaged before the pandemic”, leaning more towards the latter hypothesis, “given the prolonged effects of Brexit”.

“Contrary to what happened with the pandemic, the effects of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union are prolonged over time, making it more difficult for entry to what was the main destination for Portuguese emigration – at least for the entry of less qualified migrants” , it is stressed.

Citing data made available by the United Nations in 2022, the exhibition points to 2,631,559 Portuguese emigrants - people born in Portugal living abroad, who represented, in 2019, about 26% of the resident population in the country, being the eighth country in the world with more emigrants.

Worldwide, in the same year, there were more than 247 million international migrants, i.e. 3.4% of the world's population.

In 2021, of the 23 destination countries with high flows of Portuguese emigration, more than half (14) were European.

The destinations where more than 5,000 Portuguese entered in the last year, for which there is statistical information, are all European.

The United Kingdom led the destinations of Portuguese emigrants (12,000 entries), followed by Spain (8,000), Switzerland (8,000), France (6,000) and Germany (6,000).

In the year under review, the number of Portuguese emigrants in the United Kingdom totalled 156,295, 5.7% less than in 2020, the majority (53.1%) being women and only 2.5% over 65 years old.

This indicator makes the United Kingdom the second country, after Ireland, with a younger Portuguese emigrant community.

The Portuguese represented 1.6% of all those born abroad residing in the United Kingdom, the fourth in the world where the most Portuguese emigrants reside.

Outside Europe, the main destination countries for Portuguese emigration are part of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP): Angola (1,708 in 2019) and Mozambique (1,000 in 2016, the last year for which data are available).

There was a “slight increase” in entries in all countries analyzed, with the exception of Australia (48.7% less) and Macau (73.1% less).

Men emigrate more than women and, in terms of age group, this movement is essentially made up of young people.

France continues to be the country in the world with the highest number of residents born in Portugal, resulting mainly from the great wave of emigration in the 1960s/70s, with 598,000 individuals.

Switzerland has 207,000 people born in Portugal, followed by the United States of America (162,000), the United Kingdom (156,000), Brazil (138,000 in 2010), Canada (134,000) and Germany (115,000).

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