Migration changes, Slovenia, 2020

In 2020, every week 111 Slovenian citizens and 228 foreigners emigrated from Slovenia

In 2020, more than 36,100 people immigrated to Slovenia, while more than 17,700 emigrated. Positive net migration was partly due to administrative changes in the population register. Internal migration was strongly affected by measures to contain the spread of covid-19.

  • 16 July 2021 at 10:30
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  • final data
Positive net migration

In 2020, 36,110 people immigrated to Slovenia and 17,745 emigrated from it. Compared to 2019, the number of immigrants was 15% higher, and the number of emigrants 17% higher. Net migration in 2020 was the highest since 2008: 18,365 more residents immigrated to the country than emigrated from it.

In 2020, 11,360 Slovenian citizens immigrated to Slovenia or three times as many as in 2019. The large increase in the number of immigrants was a consequence of the enforcement of the provisions of the Residence Registration Act (OJ RS, No. 52/16), i.e. cessation of temporary residence abroad. In view of the above, on 13 August 2020, temporary address abroad ceased to 22,248 individuals ex officio. According to the existing statistical methodology, 18,500 of these individuals would be included in the population and immigration count in 2020. Using different additional data sources, especially those that define a person's activity status and using which we assume that a person is actually present in Slovenia, SURS eventually included fewer than 7,500 of these persons in the final population count (among them 97% Slovenian citizens and 3% foreigners). The majority of these residents most likely immigrated to Slovenia years or even decades ago, but failed to register their return at the administrative unit for whatever reason.

In 2020, 5,811 citizens of Slovenia emigrated from the country, or 12% fewer than in 2019.

Net migration of foreign nationals was positive for the twenty-second year in a row: in 2020, 12,816 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 in 2020 were Germany and Austria (29% and 18% respectively), followed by Italy, Croatia and Switzerland.

Most foreign immigrants in 2020 came from Bosnia and Herzegovina (46% 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

In 2020, a quarter (24%) 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 (34%), followed by Serbia (16%), Kosovo (8%) and Croatia (7%).

Data on socio-economic characteristics of international migrants will be published on 17 December 2021.

42% more internal migrations than in 2019

In 2020, 140,223 internal migrations (i.e. changes of residence within a country) were registered by 127,052 internal migrants (12,461 residents changed their settlement of residence more than once). The number of migrations increased by 42% compared to 2019.

The majority of residents who changed their settlement of residence in 2020 (85%) moved to another municipality; 15% moved to another settlement within the same municipality. Most changes of residence were made by Slovenian citizens (120,000 changes), while foreign citizens recorded 20,000 changes of residence. Nearly one half of internal migrants were 20–39 years old.

In 2020, 6% 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 nine foreign citizens changed the settlement of residence at least once, while among Slovenian citizens one in twenty did so.

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 got restricted in March and October 2020. Statistically, this was recorded as internal migration.

These measures encouraged many to register their actual place of residence. It is expected that at least some of these migrants will convert their registration to permanent eventually, or will regularly extend their temporary residence. However, a part of these registrations of temporary residence no longer reflect the actual situation after the withdrawal of the measures: these are most likely registrations at secondary residences and holiday homes.

In 2020 another 43,957 changes of residence by 41,479 residents were recorded within settlements; statistically these are not counted as migrations. Within Ljubljana 14,770 residents changed their residence at least once, and within Maribor 5,074 residents did so.

New in the SiStat database
The SiStat database contains the series of data on migration. The data series is completed with data for 2020. 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.
Migration changes, Slovenia
Immigrants from abroad31,31936,110
  citizens of the RS3,75911,360
  foreign citizens27,56024,750
Emigrants to abroad15,10617,745
  citizens of the RS6,5985,811
  foreign citizens8,50811,934
Net migration16,21318,365
  citizens of the RS-2,8395,549
  foreign citizens19,05212,816
Per 1,000 population1)
  net migration7.88.7
  total increase7.26.2
Internal migration98,793140,223
1) The values are calculated from absolute data and are due to rounding not always equal to the sum/difference of corresponding indicators.
Source: SURS
Acquisitions and losses of Slovenian citizenship, Slovenia, 2020
Acquisitions of citizenship1,725
Losses of citizenship43
Source: SURS
The high number of immigrants (especially citizens of Slovenia) in 2020 is 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 first release Population, Slovenia, 1 October 2020.

When making use of the data and information of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, always add: "Source: SURS". More: Copyright.