The Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SURS) has pulled together some data and made a few observations ahead of International Migrants Day on December 18.
The headline figure is that one in eight residents of Slovenia is an immigrant, with up to 250,000 (12.1% of the population) people being foreign-born, although just over half of these (137,000) now have Slovenian citizenship. Moreover, some of these individuals were born as Slovenian citizens (i.e. born to Slovenian parents abroad), while others became so by naturalisation. In addition, not all foreign citizens in Slovenia are classed as immigrants, as among the roughly 122,000 residents of the country with foreign citizenship about 8,600 (7%) were born in Slovenia, and so not immigrants.
In terms of country of origin, most immigrants, 86%, are from other members of the former Yugoslavia, followed by Germany (7,300), Italy (4,100) and the Russian Federation (3,000). The most common non-European countries of birth are China (1,000), the United States (800), and Argentina and Canada (400 each).
The number of immigrants is rising, and has been for decades. A census in 1948 found that just 5.5% of those living in Slovenia were born outside its borders. In 2002 this figure was 8.5%, and in 2018 it had risen to 12.1%. Overall, there are slightly more foreign men than foreign women in Slovenia (57% vs 43%), although this is mainly due to the greater imbalance seen in the 2000s, when roughly two men came to Slovenia for every woman. The figures for recent arrivals are much more balanced.
Finally, SURS notes that the average immigrant to Slovenia is a man with upper secondary education, citizen of Slovenia, born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, aged almost 49 years who first immigrated to Slovenia in the 1990s.
You can learn more about the data by visiting SURS here, where you’ll find many other links and figures of interest about the country.