After more than a decade of waves of Polish immigrants looking for better wages and a higher standard of living, the UK has seen the number of Poles arriving in the country as residents drop by 16% over the last year.
Polish immigrants in the UK are the largest non-British immigrant community in the United Kingdom, having taken over from India in 2015, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The UK’s impending withdrawal from the EU in May 2019, however, has prompted Poles to look for alternative migration destinations outside of Britain and Germany, which has traditionally been the Poles’ first preference in continental Europe.
With Polish immigration to Germany also down by almost 10%, Norway has now emerged as the second most common destination for Polish migrant workers after it experienced a 15% surge in the number of Poles requesting work or residency permits. Sweden followed closely behind its northern neighbour with a 14.7% spike in its Polish population, which until now had never attracted more than 5% of Polish immigrants to the rest of Europe.