Most European Union citizens rarely visit another EU country

Not the norm.
Not the norm.
Image: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
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Europeans like to stay home, thank you very much.

According to a recently released study (pdf), less than half of European Union citizens travel to other EU countries more than once every five years, and 37% have never visited another EU country at all. Nearly 28,000 respondents, ages 16 and over, were surveyed for the European Commission-funded study.

The survey shows a wide variance across the Union’s 28 member countries in terms of their citizens’ propensity for crossing EU borders. Nearly all of the citizens in wealthy northern European countries like Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands have traveled within the EU, and more than 65% of their citizens go to another EU country at least once a year.

By contrast, fewer than 10% of Greeks travel to another EU country once a year, and more than 60% have never been to another EU country at all. Portugal and Bulgaria, two other large but relatively low-income EU countries, have similarly untraveled populations.

The UK’s exit from the EU will probably only have a small negative impact on travel within the Union: 40% of UK citizens travel to the EU once a year, and 27% have never been to another EU country. That makes the UK similar to the EU as a whole in terms of its citizens traveling behavior.