15th October 2015

Competitiveness: Foreigners in the Czech Republic: babies, students, entrepreneurs, expats, migrants (updated)


There are 460,000 foreigners living in the Czech Republic (data as of mid-2015). The proportion of foreigners among new-born babies in the Czech Republic has been steadily rising as it was 1.4 percent 10 years ago, while the figure rose to over 3 percent by last year, according to the data published by the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). Every 40th child born in the Czech Republic in the past ten years did not have Czech citizenship. Between 2004 and 2014, a total of 28,550 foreigners were born in the Czech Republic, Prague Post informs. Still, Czech men and women are more educated than in the past, but “they pay for it” with a lower birthrate since they often postpone having a family and children, daily Právo wrote on 13 October. At present, more than 12 percent of Czechs have university education and a mere 42,000 of the country’s 10.5 million inhabitants had no education at all, according to the latest census in 2011. Moreover, Czech women have started being more educated than men. In the 2001 census, the share of women with completed secondary or higher education was 38.2 percent, while that of men was 36.3 percent, and in the 2011 census, it increased to 46.2 percent (women) and 40.9 percent (men). But as women study for 19 years on average, more and more of them have the first child at the age of around 30 and they manage to have one or maximally two children, Prague Post writes.

Currently, there are around 34,000 foreign students out of 308,000 students at Czech universities, mostly Slovaks, Russians and Ukrainians. One in seven foreign students pay for tuition, as tuition in Czech language is available for free. According to an analysis by the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts of the Czech Republic (AMSP), the Czech Republic has the largest share of foreigners (4.01%) out of the V4 countries (the Visegrad group). 60% of them are Slovaks, Ukrainians and Vietnamese. As for their entrepreneurial activity, 8.6% of all entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic are foreigners (75% of them being Slovaks, Ukrainians and Vietnamese; the number of Germans has been growing) and their businesses generally tend to be profitable. Read more on economic migration from Slovakia here.

Migrants constitute another group of foreigners in the Czech Republic. Earlier in September, the Confederation of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic announced that Czech companies are ready to employ 5,000 migrants. They could fill labor market niches, but there is the issue of language barrier. It could take migrants seven years on average to adapt to a new job and environment, economist at the Mendel University in Brno Miroslav Radiměřský said in an interview for Radio Zet. Recognition of diplomas, accreditation and related bureaucracy could be another barrier to their employment and integration.

Facts on regional distribution of foreigners are available here.

Read also and article Foregneirs are problem for two-thirds of Czechs by Prague Post.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic