For the first time in six years, the number of people who moved to Portugal in 2017 was higher than the number who left. The data has been revealed by the national statistics institute (INE). Numbers show that 36,639 people moved to Portugal to live for a period of over a year in 2017, a 22% year-on-year increase, while around 32,000 people moved abroad, a 17% decrease on the year before.
An important aspect about the data is that 40% of the people who moved to Portugal were born in the country, meaning that many of them are emigrants returning home. An even larger percentage (55%) of the people who entered the country had Portuguese nationality, many of them moving from countries like Brazil and Venezuela..
The recovery of the economy and changes to Portugal’s nationality laws” are named as some of the main reasons more people are returning to and staying in Portugal. Although a new law which allows the children of immigrants who have lived in Portugal for two years to gain Portuguese nationality only came into effect last summer, it has already attracted many foreigners.
The restaurant and agriculture industries are responsible for most employment opportunities for immigrants, Data also shows that 51% of the immigrants who entered Portugal in 2017 are women, 47% lived in an EU country and 81% were of working age..
Another measure that is certain to bring more emigrants back to Portugal if it moves forward is the 50% IRS tax reduction they will be able to enjoy if they return in 2019 and 2020. The reduction will last three to five years. The measure is still being debated in parliament.