This post is part of a series of blog posts introducing multiple migrant communities living in London.
The number of Polish citizens moving to the UK after the opening of the EU job market has jumped, and statistical data shows that this Polish migration has been very beneficial to the UK.
In fact, it is estimated that today 515,000 Poles live in the UK among which 158,300 in London. It is almost ten times more than in 2001. Although these are estimates, a more realistic number might be closer to between one to two million.
Polish immigrants have outpaced Indian workers, topping the charts of the most recruited migrant nationality among all since 2004. 160,000 Poles were moving to London to work every year before the crisis. There are now 80,000 arriving on average every year. This extensive migration of Polish workers to the UK has contributed approx. to £1.8 billion in taxes to the UK economy from 2004 until 2008.
Poles are known as hard workers. They are one of the top foreign nationalities with the least people registered for job benefits and pension (only 7% of Poles).
This massive migration had a significant impact on London’s culture: there are now more Polish speakers in England than speakers of Indian and Pakistani languages. Polish language has now become the second most frequently spoken language in England (census 2011).
If you know some Poles, you will know that many are really attached to their Church and probably the ones that are the most likely to marry someone out of their community. Statistics are clear about it: they are not people to hang out with only their own!
You can find London neighbourhoods with a multitude of Polish shops, and Polish libraries. If you want to get to know a bit about what it feels like for a Pole to move to London, here is a hilarious article about 10 weird things about Britain as seen by a Pole, and what mobile apps any Pole should have installed before getting on the plane to London.
Learn more about Polish culture and places in London where to meet some, for a coffee or to share a joke, on Polacy w Londynie.