EU Science Hub

Impact of brain drain - EU Demographic Scenarios

If a country sees a large number of its highly-skilled workers go abroad to work, the remaining population will be older and have a lower potential for productivity

  • If the EU stagnated and started to see its highly educated citizens leave – on the scale already observed in some southern and eastern EU countries – it would find itself with a smaller and less educated workforce. Such changes would coincide with a more rapidly ageing population due to the fact that emigrants tend to be early-career adults.
  • High emigration of highly-skilled workers can have detrimental effects on a society. Concerns about loss of talent are present for many regions of the world, in particular in developing countries, which are often left with shortages in critical professions due to the prospect of higher pay from abroad.

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Demographic Scenarios for the EU - Migration, Population and Education