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100,000 Chinese migrate to EU in 2006
Updated: 2008-11-19 10:04

BRUSSELS  -- About 100,000 Chinese migrated to the European Union (EU) in 2006, making China the second largest outside source of immigration for the EU after Morocco, the 27- nation bloc's statistics bureau Eurostat said on Tuesday.

In 2006, there were about 140,000 Moroccan citizens who migrated to the EU, the biggest outside immigrant group, followed by Chinese and Ukrainians. Both were around 100,000.

As to the 27 EU member states, Chinese ranked the second among foreign immigrants to Romania in 2006, and the third for Britain, France and Hungary.

If EU citizens who migrated to another member state were included, the total amount of foreign immigrants settled in a country in the EU would be about 3 million in 2006, with 40 percent migrating within the EU and the remaining 60 percent coming from outside.

The outside immigrants were almost equally divided between citizens of countries in non-EU Europe, Asia, America and Africa, with each accounting for about 15 percent, according to Eurostat.

Poland was the largest supplier of immigrants within the EU. About 290,000 Polish people migrated to other EU countries in 2006 and many of them hoped to find a well-paid job in Western European countries.

In 2006, Spain recorded the largest number of foreign immigrants, totaling 803,000, followed by Germany and Britain. The three countries received 60 percent of all foreign immigrants in the EU.

Eurostat said immigration means the action by which a person who has previously lived in a country establishes his or her usual residence in the territory of another country for a period of at least 12 months.

The figure does not include persons already living in the country who migrated before 2006.