Study: Russian brain drain higher than official figures
12 Oct '16
A new study by Alexey Kudrin’s Committee for Civic Initiatives asserts that emigration from Russia is much higher than official statistics show and that a significant amount of the emigration is among educated and highly-skilled Russians, reported the US-Russia Business Council, citing the Russian-language source.
The group studied official immigration statistics from leading destinations for Russian émigrés and compared those with the migration statistics from Rosstat, the Russian national statistics agency, and found that in nearly every case the Rosstat figures were significantly lower than those reported by other countries. For example, the German government reported that 97,000 Russians immigrated into Germany from 2011 to 2014, while Rosstat’s figure for that period is 16,300 people.
The researchers asserted that to have a better understanding of Russian emigration and its effects on Russia’s demographics and economy, then Rosstat’s statistics must be greatly revised upward.
At the same time, the researchers asserted that there is significant brain drain associated with this emigration from Russia, with many émigrés coming from the middle class and highly-skilled or highly-educated populations. For example, the study’s authors noted that more than 34,000 highly-skilled Russians emigrated to Germany between 2005 and 2014, with 39 Ph.D. holders and a further 112 Candidate of Sciences degree holders joining them.
The authors said that the main motivators for highly-skilled/educated émigrés are the unstable business environment, high levels of corruption, the downward trend in science and education spending, lack of opportunities for upward mobility, fear of persecution over political views, favorable business conditions and demand for highly-skilled workers in other countries, and opportunities for further training in other countries.