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    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK

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    PBLINK Editor 25, June 2024

    The average Polish person living in the UK is 45 years old and has been here for 15 years. They are married, raising one child. They work in a manual labour job and earn over £30,000 gross annually. They are fluent in English, own a property, and actively participate in elections. Generally, they are satisfied with their life in the UK, appreciating the stability and security they have found here. This is the picture of Poles in the UK that emerges from a study conducted by Emito.net in 2024, based on a sample of 1,727 respondents.

    badanie-polakow-w-uk

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    General Information

    Since 2004, when Poland joined the European Union, over a million Polish nationals have settled in the United Kingdom. Data from 2016 indicated that 1,020,000 Poles were living permanently in almost every corner of the UK. The latest official statistics suggest that around 700,000 currently reside in the UK. Of these, 600,000 are in England, including approximately 130,000 in London, 60,000 in Scotland, and around 20,000 each in Wales and Northern Ireland.

    The survey was conducted by Emito.net at the beginning of 2024. A total of 1,727 Poles living in the UK participated in the online questionnaire, with an equal representation of women and men.

    The largest age group among the Polish community in the UK is people aged 45-54, accounting for almost 40% of the population. Over one-third of respondents are between 35 and 44 years old, one in six belongs to the 55-64 age group, and 5% of those surveyed are over 65 years old.  

     

     

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK

     

    The primary reason for moving to the UK for half of the respondents was the prospect of better job opportunities. 24% of respondents made the decision seeking new experiences and adventures, while one in six followed the footsteps of family and loved ones. Only 2.6% of respondents indicated that their main reason for coming was to study. 

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, reason of moving

     

    The majority of today’s Polish community in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland emigrated in the first wave after Poland joined the European Union, making up 56% of those surveyed. One in four arrived between 2010 and 2015. One in ten Polish people had already been living here before 2004, and the remaining 8% have come within the last eight years.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK

     

    The majority of respondents reside in England (74%), followed by Scotland (22%). These figures may not accurately reflect the actual distribution of the Polish community in the UK, as they are influenced by the concentration of Emito.net users in Scotland. 

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    Family

    The majority of Polish people living in the United Kingdom are married, making up 53% of the population. 18% declare they are in a partnership. One in twelve Polish people in the UK is divorced, and the same proportion are single.  

     

    52024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, children

     

    74% of the Polish community in the UK have children. One in three of us are raising two children, one in four are raising one child, 10% have three children, and 3.2% of respondents are raising four or more children. One in four respondents, 26%, do not have children. 

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    Education

    41% have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, 30% have completed secondary education, 22% have technical/college education, and one in twenty has a postgraduate degree or a doctorate.

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK,language

     

    The majority of respondents rate their English language proficiency as good or very good. One in four people declare their level of English as average. Only a small percentage of respondents admit to having poor or very poor English skills. 

     

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    Work

    Over half of Polish people in the UK work in manual labour. Almost 40% are in intellectual or office jobs. 5% are retirees or pensioners. 3% of respondents are unemployed. Students make up 1% of those surveyed.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, status

     

    Workers in the production and manufacturing sector make up the largest group of Polish people in the UK, accounting for 21% of respondents. Additionally, roughly one in ten respondents are employed in sectors such as healthcare and social care, transport and logistics, construction, as well as trade, including retail, hospitality, and catering sectors.  

     

    102024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, employment

     

    The average annual earnings of Polish people in the UK exceed £30,000 gross. In comparison, the average salary in the entire UK is £35,000, while in Poland it is £18,500.

    One in three Polish people in the UK earns between £20,000 and £30,000, one in four earns between £30,000 and £40,000, and one in six earns between £40,000 and £60,000. 4% of us earn between £60,000 and £80,000, and 2.3% earn over £80,000 annually.  

    112024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, salary

    For most Polish people, finding a job in the UK turns out to be easy or very easy, as confirmed by 67% of respondents. Only a small portion (10% of those surveyed) find it difficult or very difficult to find a job.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, carrer

     

    Most Polish people in the UK positively assess their career development opportunities – 53% of respondents consider them good or very good. One in three considers them to be average. 

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    One in six Polish people in the United Kingdom currently runs their own business, and another 16% have tried this career path in the past. 14% plan to start their own business in the future.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK. business

     

    60% of Polish people living in the UK own property. 33% declare owning property only in the UK, 12% own property both in the UK and in Poland, and 15.5% own property only in Poland. Nearly 40% do not own any property. 

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    Integration with the Polish Community

    Access to Polish culture and products in the UK is rated as good by most respondents. Nearly 57% of those surveyed believe it is easy or very easy, highlighting the availability of Polish shops, media, and cultural events in the UK.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK

    Most of us maintain regular contact with other Polish people in the UK. About 45% of respondents declare that they regularly and frequently communicate with other Polish people, and one in three meet with them occasionally. 20% of Polish people maintain infrequent contacts, and only 3.1% do not keep in touch with other Polish people in the UK at all. 

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    The following charts present various forms of contact that Polish people living in the UK have with Poland. We frequently communicate with family and friends in Poland and read Polish news. Occasionally, we watch Polish television, while rarely attending Polish cultural events in the UK.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, travel

     

    36% of the respondents are very interested in Polish politics. 23.5% express moderate interest, and just under 20% declare a neutral stance. Only a minority, around 20%, are little or not at all interested in politics in Poland. 

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, perception

     

    44% of respondents have a positive view of the changes that have occurred in Poland – 35% consider them positive, and nearly 9% very positive. On the other hand, 28% of those surveyed have a negative view of these changes, with 8% considering them very negative. The remaining 29% of respondents do not notice any changes in Poland. 

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    Integration into the British community

    The majority of respondents, 82%, have settled status, which entitles them to permanent residence. Nearly 14% of those surveyed have obtained British citizenship, and 3.4% have pre-settled status, which is a form of temporary residence permit. Only a negligible portion of respondents have a visa or do not have any of the mentioned statuses.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, integrity

    Most respondents feel well integrated and accepted in the British community. One in five of us declares a full sense of integration and acceptance. One in three respondents feels moderately integrated. A small percentage, 8%, feels poorly integrated, and 3% feel completely unintegrated and isolated.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, news

    The following charts illustrate the engagement of Polish people living in the United Kingdom with British culture and media. Most respondents declare moderate or occasional interest in current news, although a considerable number claim to follow it frequently. Watching British television is less popular, and participation in British cultural events is the least popular. Most people participate in these events occasionally.  

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    32% of respondents have recently changed their opinion about the UK for the better, with 5.6% significantly so. A negative change in perception occurs in 36% of those surveyed, with 5% viewing it very negatively. The remaining nearly 32% of survey participants have not noticed any changes in their perception of the country.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK

    Nearly 60% of respondents rate the living conditions in the UK as better compared to those in Poland: 36% consider them better, and 22.5% much better. 33% of respondents rate them neutrally, as neither better nor worse. Only a minority, 7.8%, believe that the living conditions in the UK are worse compared to Poland.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, living cost

     

    The future plans of Polish people living in the UK, according to the survey results, are as follows: 43% of respondents plan to stay in the UK, indicating their satisfaction with life in this country. 15% of those surveyed declare their intention to return to Poland, and 10% want to move to another country in search of new opportunities. One in three people (32%) is still uncertain about their future, which may indicate hesitations or waiting for various life circumstances to unfold. 

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, plans future

    Opinions and Experiences

    The largest group, 29% of respondents, rates the healthcare system in the UK as average. However, the majority of opinions are negative: 27% rate the system unfavorably, and 20% have a very negative view of it. Only 18% of respondents have a positive opinion of the system, and just 6% rate it very positively.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, opinion

     

    The largest group, 38% of respondents, rates the education system in the UK as average. A positive opinion is held by 27% of respondents, and 9% have a very positive view. Conversely, 18% express a negative opinion, and 9% have a very negative opinion. The results indicate that most respondents have a moderately positive or neutral view of the education system in the UK.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, education

    61% of respondents feel satisfied with their life in the UK, with 45% being satisfied and 16% very satisfied. Dissatisfied individuals are in the minority: 7% rate their satisfaction as low, and only 2% as very low. These results indicate a generally positive attitude among the majority of Polish people living in the UK.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, satisfactio

    32% of people living in the United Kingdom have never felt discriminated against. However, 29.5% experience discrimination rarely, and 22% sometimes. One in ten residents indicate fairly frequent experiences with discrimination, and one in twenty encounters such situations very often. These results show that while a significant portion of people have not experienced discrimination, a notable percentage still face it. 

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, discrimination

     

    Post-Brexit Perspective

    The perception of Brexit among Polish people in the UK is mainly negative, with 47% of people rating it as very negative and 17% as rather negative. Only 10% of respondents view Brexit very positively. A neutral opinion on the matter is expressed by 18.5% of those surveyed.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, brexit

    56% of respondents declare that their life has worsened with Brexit. 35% do not feel any changes due to Brexit. Only 9% believe that Brexit has improved their living conditions in the UK. 

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, living conditions

    44% of respondents express interest in British politics, with 16% keeping up to date with the news. Almost one in three of us express moderate interest, following it from time to time. 14.5% have little interest, and 7% are not interested at all.  

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK. politics

     

    The largest group of respondents, 32.5%, regularly participate in the elections they are entitled to vote in. Conversely, one in five of us never participate in elections in the UK. 

     

    2024 Survey of the Polish Community in the UK, voting

    The results of the survey are also available in Polish: Badanie Polskiej Społeczności w Wielkiej Brytanii 2024.

     

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