Little change over year despite economic crisis
The number of foreign residents living in the Czech Republic has remained fairly static despite the financial crisis, according to new figures from the Interior Ministry.
As of March 31, the number of foreigners with residency permits in the country totaled 430,310 compared with 443,268 a year earlier and 402,320 in 2008, ministry statistics show.
Ukrainians continued to comprise the largest group of foreign residents, with a total of 130,561, down slightly from 133,570 in 2009.
Slovakia ranked second with 71,950 foreign residents as of March, followed closely by Vietnam with 61,067, Russia with 30,857 and Poland with 18,857.
Despite fears that the slowing economy would drive away English-speaking foreigners, the ministry figures show this has not been the case. Residents from the United States totaled 6,268 as of March 31, up slightly from 5,948 in 2009 and an increase from 4,999 in 2008.
For the United Kingdom, a total of 4,270 residents in 2010 was a slight decrease from 4,626 in 2009, but up from 4,023 in 2008.
Interestingly, foreign residents from British Commonwealth countries actually increased over the past two years, according to ministry figures. In 2010, residents from Canada totaled 828, up from 786 in 2009 and 651 in 2008. Australia and New Zealand, meanwhile, had 495 and 127 residents in 2010, respectively, compared with 477 and 117 in 2009, and 405 and 91 in 2008.
However, the number of residents from Germany has declined, with 13,386 in 2010, compared with 16,456 in 2009 and 16,732 in 2008.
Statistics from other West European nations were mixed. The number of French and Italian residents in the Czech Republic totaled 2,232 and 2,543 in 2010, respectively, compared with 2,522 and 2,677 in 2009, and 2,231 and 2,436 in 2008.
Meanwhile, the number of Vietnamese and Thai residents has increased rapidly since 2008. Vietnam’s total of 61,067 in 2010 compares with 60,892 in 2009 and 54,550 in 2008.
As for Thailand, the total of 607 people in 2010 was an increase from 503 in 2009 and just 398 in 2008.
Prague is also seeing a growing number of foreigners despite economic woes, with the statistics showing there were 148,035 foreign residents here as of March compared with 146,335 in 2009 and just 131,132 in 2008.
Many countries also have just one foreign person living in the Czech Republic including Suriname, The Seychelles, Vanuatu, San Marino and Malawi, the ministry statistics show.
– Klára Jiřičná contributed to this report.