Migrations

Following EU accession in 2004 of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia (CEE-8) and three years later by Bulgaria and Romania most countries of the CEE region experienced large migration outflows which are documented both on the sending and receiving side.
 
On the receiving side evidence comes from recent census in the UK which showed large, numbering tens of thousands populations of speakers of CEE languages with as many as 546,174 Polish language speakers. Crucially according to ONS some 80% of those Poles were employed. Spanish data from 2007 showed 531,000 immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania, with large scale immigration from those countries continuing in later years.  

Speakers of CEE languages in the UK according to 2011 census
Bulgarian.
38 496
Czech
29 363
Estonian
3 398
Hungarian
44 365
Latvian
31 523
Lithuanian
85 469
Polish
546 174
Romanian
67 586
Slovak
50 485
Slovenian
1 235

Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) under which citizens of CEE countries had to register for legal employement accordiing to data from mid 2009 showed close to a million of registrations. In the same time Ireland issued half a million Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers to workers from CEE-8 countries and additional 30 thousands to Bulgarians and Romanians.  

Workers from CEE-8 registered in the UK and Ireland until March/May 2009
 
WRS - UK
PPS - Ireland
Czech Rep.
42 135
19 255
Estonia
7 995
6 611
Hungary
38 605
19 687
Latvia
46 165
33 377
Lithuania
87 330
66 080
Poland
626 595
315 525
Slovakia
99 390
39 375
Slovenia
 930
411
Total CEE-8
949 145
500 321

None of those sources: WRS, PPS numbers, immigrant population estimates from Spain or results from censuses are perfect in capturing immigration flows or stocks they do however point to a massive scale of the phenomenon.

Registrations on British islands as proportion of labour force and unemployment in home country
 
Total registered (‘000)
% labour force
% unemployed
Czech Rep.
61 390
1.2
26.7
Estonia
14 606
2.1
38.0
Hungary
58 292
1.4
17.7
Latvia
79 542
6.5
87.9
Lithuania
153 410
9.5
162.7
Poland
942 120
5.5
77.8
Slovakia
138 765
5.2
54.3
Slovenia
1 341
0.1
2.9

This is also confirmed on the sending end: census data from Latvia and Lithuania showed populations to be 7-8% smaller than expected, in most part due to emigration. Data from the Polish census points to as many as 2 million people living abroad, and population of Romania is closer to 19 million rather than 21 pre census estimate.
 
Moreover most migrants represent economically active segment of population. 

As shown in table above, immigration to the UK and Ireland as represented by WRS registrations and PPS numbers issued by mid 2009 has had the largest impact in terms of the proportion of the
labour force for Lithuania at 9.5%, then in Latvia, Poland and Slovakia, where 5–6% of the total labour force has at one point registered for jobs in the British Isles.

Looking at the proportion of those registered in the UK and Ireland compared with the unemployed who remain in their countries, the impact was strongest again in Lithuania where 150,000 registered outnumber 95,000 unemployed in their home country. In Latvia and Poland the number of registrations was close to the number of unemployed and for the remainder of countries the proportion was significant, between 18% and 54%, except for Slovenia where it was only 3%.

Registrations under Irish PPS and British WRS schemes by country – mid 2009


Sources: UK Home Office, Irish Department of Social and Family Affairs, ONS 2011 census, statistical offices of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Spain