Slovakia faces brain drain, émigrés prevail over immigrants

LAST year, Slovakia witnessed the situation in which the number of people in of productive age who left the country was higher than of those who arrived, according to the data of the Demographic Research Centre (VDC).

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

The centre calculated the number from those who cancelled their permanent residence in Slovakia. The data of VDC were published by the Financial Policy Institute (IFP) and quoted by the Sme daily on January 9. Outgoing Slovaks are mostly aged between15 and 60, and they will probably not return, Danuša Jurčová of VDC told Sme.

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Though the difference between the number of emigrants (more than 2,800) and immigrants is only 17 people, it happened for the first time that the number of those leaving Slovakia is higher. Moreover, the number of emigrants is the highest since 1993. i.e., since the establishment of the independent Slovak Republic.

Most of then are aged 30 to 40. Experts say that people who leave are mostly those who studied abroad, found a job and established a family.

This results in an increasing problem with brain drain, Michal Páleník, head of the Employment Institute, said for Sme. He assesses the number of people studying at colleges and universities abroad – a potential pool of émigrés - at 40,000.

The overall rate of Slovak youths studying abroad compared to total number of our students keeps growing, Vladimír Baláž of the Slovak Academy of sciences (SAV), said. This is partially a natural consequence of opening borders, head of INEKO think-tank Peter Goliaš said, adding that it is also due to the lack of motivation on the side of Slovak schools to attracts the best students, however.

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Lack of educated and skilled people can be an opportunity for Slovak employers employ the long-term unemployed. Another solution for some of them is to bring foreigners to work in Slovakia: carmakers drive in employees from Romania or Bulgaria, according to Baláž.

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