Brno is becoming a cosmopolitan city
The fact that number of foreigners in the Czech Republic and also in Brno is increasing is already known. It is a logical development in a society that is internationalized due to globalization processes, the Czech Republic’s membership in the EU or economic demand. Let’s look at this phenomenon in more detail through the eyes of statistics. At present, more than 32,000 foreigners are registered to stay in Brno. The number of foreigners is the sum of those with reported permanent and temporary residence.This is the Ministry of the Interior statistics which is updated monthly. Citizens of Slovakia have a special position; although they count among foreigners, they do not have to apply for residence in the Czech Republic. More than 25,000 foreigners live in Brno, which is 6.7% of all inhabitants of the city, without Slovaks (some of them are registered for permanent residence in Brno and thus appear in the statistics). However, even this number is not entirely accurate. Significant proportion of foreigners are EU citizens with employment contracts who do not have to be registered for residence and thus do not translate into statistics. These inaccuracies must be taken into account when determining the total number of foreigners and the number of foreigners from individual countries.
If we don´t count the Slovaks then Ukrainians, Vietnamese or Russians are the most represented foreigners. Romanians, Bulgarians, Indians, Polish and Americans are also well represented in the statistics. Growth dynamics has intensified especially after 2015. It can be assumed that the growth is due to very low unemployment in the Czech Republic and subsequent demand of companies for employees.
It is also interesting that the number of foreigners living the Brno-venkov district is stable and does not change much over time (more than 6,000 foreigners are currently registered there). Data from 2011 confirm the link between the number of foreigners and the economic growth of the city and the region. In 2011, when the economy was affected by the global economic crisis, the number of foreigners in Brno even decreased. Now the trend is exactly the opposite.
Currently, foreigners from 144 countries of the world are registered to stay in Brno. The only global region whose inhabitants do not live in Brno is the region of Equatorial Africa. Leaving aside Slovakia, Ukraine is the clear leader in this respect, with nearly 8,000 inhabitants in Brno.
Foreginers in Brno based on the country of origin
If we compare the development over the last 5 years (comparison from January 2014 to 2019), we can say that the highest number of foreigners in the city came from Ukraine (1204), Russia (763) and India (347). Other foreigners came from Hungary, Turkey and Romania, Kazakhstan, Brazil or Japan. Conversely, declines are very small in a five-year comparison, essentially with only two nationalities from Vietnam (-67) and Armenia (- 36).
Comparison from January 2014 to 2019
The highest number of foreigners is registered in Brno-střed, Brno-sever and Královo Pole. This finding is not surprising given that it is an overall strong population district. When recalculating the number of foreigners in relation to the population size of the city districts, Brno-South city district is at the top of the list, where foreigners make up almost a third of all inhabitants. Černovice, Slatina and Královo Pole have between 13 – 15% of foreigners. The higher proportion of foreigners in the southern part of Brno is mainly due to the presence of accommodation facilities where many foreigners are registered to stay. City district Černovice have an increased share mainly thanks to the large Vietnamese community.
The situation of foreigners on the labor market
Other interesting information about foreigners is provided by the statistics of the Czech Labor Office. As of 31 December 2018, 38 9000 foreigners were registered at contact offices of the Labor Office in Brno. In addition, the Trade Licensing Office registered another 4 200 foreigenrs as entrepreneurs. In total, there are approximately 43 234 foreign workers on the labor market in Brno (professional analysis of labor offices). In the whole region it is more than 66 300 thousand foreign workers. Most foreign workers are from the EU or from countries with no working visa necessity. This situation is similar in the district Brno-venkov and in the whole region.
Over the past 15 years, the number of foreign workers in the entire South Moravian Region has almost tripled. Greater economic interconnections, EU accession and globalization trends play a role in this. At the same time it is possible to find a connection with the overall situation on the labor market when unemployment in Brno and the Czech Republic is extremely low.
According to an expert analysis prepared by the Labor Office of the Czech Republic Regional Branch in Brno, the majority of foreigners are Slovaks in the whole South Moravian Region. Geographical proximity, lack of a language barrier and relatively good transport accessibility enable Slovak citizens to find employment in most areas of the labor market. Slovaks represent about 46% of the foreigners registered by the Labor Office in the South Moravian Region. The second largest group are Ukrainians (about 17%), followed by citizens of Romania (about 6.5%) and Bulgaria (about 4.5%). If we include also foreigners working here on trade licenses, the fifth largest nationality with 3.5% will be Vietnamese. Foreigners from third countries are concentrated mainly in Brno city disctrict; their number in rural districts except for Ukrainians is minimal.
The above statistics and conclusions show that the city of Brno is an attractive destination for foreigners to live and work. Besides the citizens of Slovakia whose presence is logical due to their geographical and linguistic proximity, the structure of foreigners present in Brno is relatively diverse (both in terms of their nationality and education). For example, around 1700 foreigners work at IBM’s, the largest private employer in Brno, which employs over 4,000 people in total. It can be assumed in the future that unless there is a fundamental economic or political change, the number of foreigners in Brno will continue to grow. This is in line with the city’s long-term vision of strategy #brno2050: Brno, as an international city, strives for diversity and openness to people from different countries. The city has been actively trying to attract highly qualified foreigners through the Brno Expat Centre for a long time, for which it has been awarded several times abroad.