A new Pew Research Center analysis based on European data sources estimates that at least 3.9 million unauthorized immigrants – and possibly as many as 4.8 million – lived in Europe in 2017. The total is up from 2014, when 3.0 million to 3.7 million unauthorized migrants lived in Europe, but is little changed from a recent peak of 4.1 million to 5.3 million in 2016.1
Overall, unauthorized immigrants accounted for less than 1% of Europe’s total population of more than 500 million people living in the 28 European Union member states, including the United Kingdom, and four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). And among the roughly 24 million noncitizens of EU-EFTA countries living in Europe, fewer than one-fifth were unauthorized immigrants in 2017.
many asylum seekers in Europe are still awaiting a decision on their pending application, a group that is part of our estimates, and accounted for nearly a quarter (20% to 24%) of Europe’s unauthorized immigrant population in 2017.
…the Center also produced estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population without this group. These estimates are lower – 2.9 million to 3.8 million in 2017 – yet still show an apparent increase from 2014 before the asylum seeker surge, when the unauthorized immigrant population without asylum seekers waiting for a decision was an estimated 2.4 million to 3.2 million.
4 Millionen Illegalisierte Migrant*innen in der EU