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Migration and Home Affairs


All economic activities by workers and economic units that are – in law or in practice – not covered or insufficiently covered by formal arrangements.


Para. 3 of ILO Resolution concerning Decent Work and the Informal Economy, 2002


  • BG: неформална икономика
  • CS: šedá ekonomika
  • DE: informelle Wirtschaft / Schattenwirtschaft
  • EL: παραοικονομία
  • EN: informal economy
  • ES: economía informal
  • ET: varimajandus
  • FI: epävirallinen talous / pimeä talous
  • FR: économie informelle
  • GA: geilleagar neamhfhoirmiúil
  • HU: szürke gazdaság
  • IT: economia informale
  • LT: šešėlinė ekonomika
  • LV: neformālā ekonomika
  • MT: Ekonomija informali
  • NL: informele economie
  • PL: gospodarka nierejestrowana
  • PT: economia informal
  • RO: economie informală
  • SK: tieňová ekonomika / šedá ekonomika
  • SL: neformalno gospodarstvo / siva ekonomija
  • SV: informell ekonomi
  • NO: uformell økonomi / parallell økonomi
  • KA: არაფორმალური ეკონომიკა 
  • UK: тіньова економіка


  • black market
  • clandestine employment

Related Term(s)

  • informal employment
  • informal sector


1. Activities within the informal economy are not covered by law, which means that they are operating outside of the formal reach of relevant legislation; or they are not covered in practice, which means that, although they are operating within the formal reach of the law, the law is not applied or not enforced, or the law discourages compliance because it is inappropriate, burdensome or imposes excessive costs.
2. This applies to third-country nationals , too.