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The smaller a developing country’s population, the higher the risk that its highly skilled population will emigrate to developed countries. Earlier this month, the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published jointly figures on world migration with emphasis on the issue of brain drain. The data used by DESA and OECD relies largely on the Database on Immigrants in OECD and non-OECD countries (DIOC). Data for the reference years 2010/11 will be made completely available in December 2013.
The DESA/OECD findings with regard to migration of highly educated people (i.e. those who completed tertiary education) are:
The figures demonstrate a significant problem of brain drain and a lack of possibilities for highly educated people in developing countries as well as a high degree of selectivity within OECD countries as to migration by educational attainment. The DESA/OECD figures also provide information on immigration of highly educated people within OECD countries. Most highly educated people emigrating to another OECD country come from Germany (169 000), followed by the United Kingdom (165 000) and Poland (165 000), France (147 000) and the United States (120 000). Given that the figures refer to 2010/11 the supposedly high rate of Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Greek university graduates looking for employment in other EU countries is not yet reflected.