Migration changes, 2021

Net migration of foreign citizens the lowest after 2011

Nearly 4,000 Slovenian citizens immigrated to Slovenia last year, as did almost 19,700 foreign citizens. More than 5,800 Slovenian citizens and more than 15,300 foreign citizens emigrated from the country. Net migration was just under 2,500 persons.

  • 15 July 2022 at 10:30
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  • Updated
  • 15 November 2022 at 12:32
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  • final data
Positive net migration

23,624 people immigrated to Slovenia and 21,144 emigrated from it. Compared to the previous year, the number of immigrants was 35% lower, and the number of emigrants 19% higher. Net migration in 2021 was the lowest since 2017: 2,480 more residents immigrated to the country than emigrated from it.

3,962 Slovenian citizens immigrated to Slovenia or two-thirds fewer than in 2020, when the large number of immigrants was a consequence of the enforcement of an administrative change. 5,821 citizens of Slovenia emigrated from the country, or about the same as a year ago.

Net migration of foreign citizens was positive for the twenty-third year in a row, but the lowest since 2011: in 2021, 4,339 more of them immigrated to Slovenia than emigrated from it.

Most Slovenian citizens immigrated from Germany, most foreigners from Bosnia and Herzegovina

The most common countries of previous residence for immigrants with Slovenian citizenship were Germany and Austria (22% and 19% respectively), followed by Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Croatia.

Most foreign immigrants came from Bosnia and Herzegovina (43% of all foreign immigrants). Some other common countries of previous residence were Kosovo, Serbia, North Macedonia and Croatia. 

Most Slovenian citizens to Austria, most foreigners to Bosnia and Herzegovina

About one-fifth (22%) of emigrants with Slovenian citizenship left for Austria. Some other common countries of next residence were Germany (19%), Croatia and Switzerland. 

Among foreign emigrants, the most common country of next residence was Bosnia and Herzegovina (36%), followed by Serbia (16%), Kosovo (12%) and North Macedonia (6%).

Data on socioeconomic characteristics of international migrants will be published on 20 December 2022. 

20% fewer internal migrations than a year ago

111,377 internal migrations (i.e. changes of residence within a country) were registered. The number of migrations decreased by 20% compared to 2020.

The majority (81%) of residents who changed their settlement of residence in 2021 moved to another municipality; 19% moved to another settlement within the same municipality. Most changes of residence were made by Slovenian citizens (92,000 changes), while foreign citizens recorded 20,000 changes of residence. Nearly half of internal migrants were 20–39 years old.

5% of Slovenian population changed their settlement of residence at least once. Compared to citizens of Slovenia, foreign citizens are a more mobile population group: one in ten foreign citizens changed the settlement of residence at least once, while among Slovenian citizens one in twenty-three did so.

Another 46,443 changes of residence by 44,494 residents were recorded within settlements; statistically these are not counted as migrations. Within Ljubljana 15,679 residents changed their residence at least once, and within Maribor 5,659 residents did so. 

The SiStat data series on migration is completed with data for 2021. The latest data on international and internal migration, migration change and total increase are now available. A lot of data are available for several territorial levels.

Net migration, Slovenia
Net migration, Slovenia
Migration changes, Slovenia
Immigrants from abroad36,11023,624
  citizens of the RS11,3603,962
  foreign citizens24,75019,662
Emigrants to abroad17,74521,144
  citizens of the RS5,8115,821
  foreign citizens11,93415,323
Net migration18,3652,480
  citizens of the RS5,549–1,859
  foreign citizens12,8164,339
Per 1,000 population1)
  net migration8.71.2
  total increase6.2–0.9
Internal migration140,223111,377
1) The values are calculated from absolute data and are due to rounding not always equal to the sum/difference of corresponding indicators.
Acquisitions and losses of Slovenian citizenship, Slovenia, 2021
Acquisitions of citizenship1,782
Losses of citizenship40
The high number of immigrants (especially citizens of Slovenia) in 2020 was mostly due to administrative changes in the register in accordance with the Residence Registration Act (OJ RS, No. 52/16). More information is available in the release Population, Slovenia, 1 October 2020.

The increase in internal migration in 2020 was largely due to the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Many people chose to change their official residence (most often they registered temporary residence in another municipality) when movement between municipalities was restricted between March and October 2020. Statistically, these were recorded as internal migrations.
When making use of the data and information of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, always add: "Source: SURS". More: Copyright.