There were 250,000 immigrants in Slovenia at the start of 2018, or 12.1% of the country’s population, national statisticians said before International Migrants Day, which is observed on 18 December.
The figure puts Slovenia 16th on the list of EU countries by share of immigrants; Luxembourg leads with 46.5% and Poland is at the bottom with 1.8%.
Statistics Office data also shows that Slovenia is quite generous with granting immigrants citizenship.
Alongside Croatia, Sweden and the Netherlands, it is one of the four EU countries with the largest share of immigrants having its citizenship.
The share stands at 55%, while it is as high as 94% among those who migrated to Slovenia when the country was still part of former Yugoslavia, before June 1991.
This is because migrations between Yugoslav republics were considered internal migrations, so it was easier to gain citizenship after Slovenia’s independence.
Consequently, around 170,000 people were granted Slovenian citizenship in the first eight months after independence.
However, the figure for the past decade is much lower, at 15,000; of these new Slovenian citizens, 70% still originate from the area of former Yugoslavia.
Among the immigrants who came to Slovenia in the past decade, between 2008 and 2017, 6% already had Slovenian citizenship, with over 3% receiving it after immigrating.
These immigrants have come to Slovenia from as many as 163 countries, according to STA.