A new survey carried out on behalf of the European Parliament predicts that over 400,000 Bulgarians – almost 5 per cent of the entire population – will look to leave their home country in the next two years, once EU residency restrictions are lifted next year.
The results of the survey, gathered by polling company Afis, reveals with almost half of those who expect to leave the country anticipating settling in either Britain or Germany.
Some 22.5 per cent of want-away Bulgarians would like to settle in the UK, while 22.9 per cent name Germany as their intended destination.
If the same percentage is repeated in January 2014, when Bulgarian citizens – along with those from Romania – gain free movement to all other EU countries, then around 160,000 Bulgarians will arrive in Britain and Germany alone by the end of 2016.
The chance to earn significantly increased wages – the average hourly wage in the Balkan country is just £3.15 – and other economic factors are given as the main reason behind the UK and Germany’s apparent popularity with Bulgarians.