Number of students with foreign parents in primary and secondary education increases. Students of Brazilian, Angolan, and French origin represent more than 50% of the total


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There is an increased number of students with an immigrant background in elementary and secondary schools, with growth between 2012/2013, when a decline began, and 2019/2021, the year with the highest figure in recent years (156,954 students).

The numbers are in the study ‘Atlas of Students with an Immigrant Background. Quem São e Onde Estão nos Ensinos Básico e Secundário em Portugal’ (Who They Are and Where They Are in Primary and Secondary Education in Portugal), cited by Público, by a team from the Observatory of Inequalities, based on data from the Directorate-General of Education and Science Statistics (DGEEC).

The numbers reveal that students from immigrant backgrounds accounted for 14.3% of all students in schools 10 years ago, compared to 17.3% today.

Looking at specific origins, 28.6% of the total number of students with immigrant backgrounds had Brazilian parents, 13.9% had Angolan parents, and 9.5% had French parents. These three origins alone represent more than half (52%) of the total number of students with immigrant backgrounds in primary and secondary schools in Portugal.

Comparing the 2012/13 period with the most recent data, it can be seen that the fastest growing student origins were Nepalese (1214%), Brazilian (119%), Indian (76.6%) and Venezuelan (61.%).

On the other hand, the number of students from Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP) decreased. There was a reduction, in the same period, of students with Mozambican (-40.7%), Cape Verdean (-27.4%), Angolan (-25.8%) and Guinean (-24.4) parents.

In 2019/2020, the study notes, 60.3% of students with an immigrant background were born in Portugal, almost half (47.5%) had a parent with Portuguese citizenship, and in 41.7% of cases they were born in Portugal and had parents with Portuguese citizenship.

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