Among countries of the European Union (EU 28) Portugal stays at the twenty-first place, with just 3.8% of foreign residents between population (Observatório das Migrações).

In the context of the european crisis of recent years, where effects of economic and labor contractions were more pronounced in Portugal than in many other countries of the EU, Portugal has registered successive decreases in the number of foreigners living in the country. However, from 2015, according to Eurostat values, not only did the number of foreigners resident in Portugal has been growing again (figure 1), as the structure of the ten most representative nationalities has also changed (figure 2).

Gráfico 1: International migrations (permanent movements) from and to Portugal, 2006-2016

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on Eurostat values, Database on Population and Social Conditions, Demography and Migration (pop).

Despite the reduction registered in relation to 2015 (- 1.6%) Brazil has remained the most expressive nationality in 2016, representing 20.4% of the total number of foreign residents in Portugal. After Brazilians, there are the Cape Verdeans (9.2%), the Ukrainians (8.7%), the Romanians (7.7%) and the Chinese (5.7%) which have grown 5.5% compared to the previous year.

Gráfico 2: Top representative nationalities of foreigners residing in Portugal

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on data from SEF.

On the other hand, there have been more and more citizens from European Union countries choosing Portugal to live. The French registered a growth of 33.8% compared to 2015, and in 2016 they were in ninth place (2.8%) ahead of the spanishs (2.8%). In its turn, the United Kingdom was in sixth place (4.9%), with growth of 12.5%, supplanting Angola (4.3%) and Guinea Bissau (3.9%).Acquisitions of portuguese nationals of non-EU citizens are one of the responsible for the registered changes.