2748 countries facing biggest brain drain phenomenon in the world 1
Photo: balkaneu.com

What Is Brain Drain?

Brain drain is a slang term indicating substantial emigration or migration of individuals. A brain drain can result from turmoil within a nation, the existence of favorable professional opportunities in other countries, or from a desire to seek a higher standard of living. In addition to occurring geographically, brain drain may occur at the organizational or industrial levels when workers perceive better pay, benefits, or upward mobility within another company or industry.

Brain drain causes countries, industries, and organizations to lose a core portion of valuable individuals. The term often describes the departure of groups of doctors, healthcare professionals, scientists, engineers, or financial professionals. When these people leave, their places of origin are harmed in two main ways. First, expertise is lost with each emigrant, diminishing the supply of that profession. Secondly, the country's economy is harmed because each professional represents surplus spending units. Professionals often earn large salaries, so their departure reduces consumer spending in that region or the country overall.

Top 7 countries facing the biggest brain drain in the world

1. Ethiopia

2731 countries facing biggest brain drain phenomenon in the world 2
Photo: lobal.umich.edu

Ethiopia produces a large number of qualified professionals, especially in the medical field, but is experiencing one of the worst brain drains of any country in the world. Attracted by better prospects overseas and in other African nations and pushed out by political persecution, Ethiopia's best and brightest haven't been sticking around after graduation. A recent study presented at the National Symposium on Ethiopian Diasporas revealed some shocking numbers, with the country losing about 75% of its skilled professionals over the past ten years. This exodus of highly qualified professionals has had a huge impact on the country, leaving it with too few physicians, engineers, and scientists to fill positions the country desperately needs to thrive economically.

2. Nigeria

2514 countries facing biggest brain drain phenomenon in the world 3
Photo: expat.com

Taking into consideration the country’s low GDP, poor healthcare, and the history of a three-year bloody civil conflict in the late 1960s, Nigeria is a developing country with many priorities to tackle. However, Nigeria’s aspiring doctors and engineers have neither the patience nor the time to wait for reliable scientific opportunities in their country. Thus, the educated and ambitious youth expatriates to the US and Europe not only earn more but also showcase and cultivate its talents. The result is a country drained of qualified professionals, of whom is so much in need to pick up and grow.

3. Kenya

2504 countries facing biggest brain drain phenomenon in the world 4
Photo: borgenmagazine.com

High unemployment rates, lack of resources, and other factors have made Kenya one of the top brain drain countries in Africa. With fewer than 30% of Kenyans who study overseas returning to work in Kenya, the nation is feeling the hurt of losing so many skilled professionals. The Kenyan Medical Association has warned that emigration of medical professionals may make it impossible to provide health care to the country's residents – and the situation is already pretty dire. As of 2002, the public sector medical field had only 600 doctors and 70 dentists available to treat over 28 million citizens. With somewhere between 500,000 and 1.8 million Kenyans working and living overseas, the country is trying desperately to find a way to lure some of these citizens back home where their skills are much needed.

4. Vietnam

2500 countries facing biggest brain drain phenomenon in the world 5
Photo: expat.com

Vietnam, the ninth-largest Eurasian country with about 92 million people, is one of the countries that have been severely hit by brain drain due to economic and social issues that haven’t been properly addressed. Corruption (which may include bribing) and poor working conditions push the young and competent people away from their home country. Older reports of seven years ago show that about 70 percent of international Vietnamese students didn’t return to Vietnam after graduating from a university abroad. This is a situation that remains, and the only way to be reversed is for the government to act on a strategy, as it did in the early 90s to reduce poverty.

5. Iran

2452 countries facing biggest brain drain phenomenon in the world 6
Photo: share.america.gov

In 2006, the IMF ranked Iran the highest in brain drain among 90 countries (both developed and less developed), with over 180,000 people leaving each year due to a poor job market and oppressive social conditions. In fact, it is estimated that over 25% of Iranians with post-secondary degrees live and work abroad, adding up to a total of 4 million Iranians living overseas. While the outflux of Iranians was scoffed at in the early '80s by government officials, today Iran is doing more to keep their skilled professionals at home, creating several national foundations aimed at improving the conditions for students in the sciences and increasing the number of graduate programs. Why pay attention now? Iran's brain drain is estimated to cost the country over $50 billion each year in economic losses.

6. Greece

2347 countries facing biggest brain drain phenomenon in the world 7
Photo: expat.com

About 200,000 graduates have fled Greece due to skyrocketing unemployment rates, which at some point, since the beginning of the economic crisis, reached 50 percent among the youth. For a small nation of 11 million people and a grand debt of USD 270 billion, the loss of its educated workforce of under 25-year-olds is devastating for its economy and development. As per Endeavor’s study, Greece’s bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degree holders are expatriating primarily to European Union countries. Of the total ex-pat population, 29 percent have moved among other countries to the US and the Middle East to be employed in the computer science and engineering fields.

7. South Africa

2343 countries facing biggest brain drain phenomenon in the world 8
Photo: moneyweb.co.za

Years of unrest, high crime rates, AIDS and lack of jobs have combined to make South Africa's brain drain a serious problem. Over the past three years, the country has lost over 100,000 workers, with an additional 70% of skilled South Africans saying they are considering leaving the nation. Losing so many skilled workers has a ripple effect, with the loss of each skilled professional costing about 10 unskilled jobs. Currently, the country is working to not only keep residents from leaving once they've completed their training, but to also attract professionals from other nations to South African businesses. Though there is still a long way to go to make this a reality.

If you like this article, please tell us to know in the comment section and follow KnowInsider for more interesting information in the future.

Top 9 iconic symbols of Canada you should know! Top 9 iconic symbols of Canada you should know!

Visiting China, what comes to mind? Is it a country famous for its cross-culture, thus it is rich in civilization and culture? What best represents ...

Top Car-Hailing Apps Around The World Top Car-Hailing Apps Around The World

Not everybody has the luxury of driving around in their own cars, especially when they are traveling abroad. Thus, people can use car-hailing apps with ...

Top 9 Countries with the Greatest Work-Life Balance Top 9 Countries with the Greatest Work-Life Balance

Finding a suitable balance between work and daily living is a challenge that all workers face. The ability to successfully combine work, family commitments and ...