Albania ranks second globally for willingness to emigrate

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 12, 2017 15:14

Story Highlights

  • About 56 percent of Albanians want to leave the country, with a large spike since 2013, global Gallup poll shows.

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TIRANA, June 12 - At 56 percent, more than half of Albania’s population is willing to leave the country for a better life elsewhere, according to a global survey, which places Albania second in the world for this indicator.

The desire to leave Albania has spiked dramatically in the past three years, according to the largest ever survey of its kind conducted by Gallup, which asked 586,000 people in 156 different countries around the world about their willingness to migrate.  

Between 2010 and 2012, the share of Albanians who wanted to emigrate was only 36 percent, according to the survey, while in the next three years, 2013-2016, the share of the population wanting to leave Albania reached 56 percent.

Albania’s current government, which took office in 2013, has come under fire from critics after more than 200,000 people left the country in the past four years.  

Albania already had one of the world’s highest per capita out-migration rates, and more than a third of the country’s citizens now live abroad permanently.  Albania's resident population was 2.8 million according to the 2011 census.

Economic experts say the drain in human resources is dramatic, while demographers have warned Albania will turn into a country of old people and shrink to half its 1990 population in the next 30 years.

With young people and young families being among the first to leave looking for a better life their children, the government is already having to close elementary schools and classrooms across the country.

Consecutive governments have failed to address the issue, with brain gain schemes quickly evaporating and financial incentives lacking for workers looking to stay or return home.  

Lack of employment opportunities, bad infrastructure in healthcare and education, unfair treatment by the government and courts, poverty, a low quality of life and entrenched corruption are often cited as reasons for leaving.

However, a set trend of migration in the post-communist years, in which established family members and friends help more people migrate to wealthier countries as well as the economic recovery in the West are also potential causes.

Albania was only topped by Sierra Leone, at 62 percent, in the index. It also tied with Haiti. The two countries are among the poorest in the world and have a history of war and natural disasters.

Albanians are also more willing to migrate that some of the world’s poorest countries, like Liberia with the DR Congo, while even war-torn Syria scored better, in ninth place.

According to the Gallup survey, about 14 percent of the global adult population wants to emigrate. Translated into hard numbers it means that 710 million people around the world want to leave their country of birth for a better life elsewhere.



Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 12, 2017 15:14