A little more than 5% of active Hungarians, a total of 339,000 people, were working in another EU state in 2017. Data released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, show that the emigration of Hungarians has accelerated in the last ten years, though far more leave from some neighboring states.
Eurostat compiled information about EU citizens of working age (20-64) residing in another member state. The European average was 3.8% in 2017, a sharp increase compared to 2.5% ten years ago.
The least mobile are Germans, with only 1% of citizens of working age residing in another member state, while in the case of Romanians, this rate is very high at 19.7%.
Romania also leads in terms of the growth rate of those working abroad, compared to ten years ago. The increase here was 12.3%, while for Hungarians, the growth has been much slower, starting at 1.5% in 2007, rising to 2.4% in 2012, and 5.2% in 2017.
Eurostat notes that the free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. EU
citizens are entitled to look for a job in another EU country, work there without a work permit, live there and enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages.
The outflow of skilled Hungarians to other EU member states in recent years is seen as one of the causes of growing labor shortages at home, gaps that have been filled not only by workers from other EU states, but increasingly by non-EU citizens.