Hungarian emigration at record levels

By bne IntelliNews July 26, 2016

The number of Hungarian emigres hit historically high levels in 2014 and 2015, as 30,000 left the country each year, local media reported on July 26.

Emigration of young and skilled workers has accentuated already adverse demographic trends in Hungary and the region in recent years. On top of the challenges that aging society loads onto fiscal management, a growing shortage of skilled labour is now seen as a signficant risk to investment and economic growth.

At the beginning of 2014, around 330,000 Hungarian citizens lived elsewhere in Europe; that number has since grown to around 400,000, based on data from the Demographic Research Institute. Most leaving Hungary have emigrated to the UK, Germany and Austria.

Graduates and highly skilled workers are the most keen to leave Hungary, Vilaggazdasag reports. While graduates usually move abroad long-term, skilled workers more often work in foreign countries for shorter periods.

In the main destinations, 50-70% of Hungarian emigres are aged between 20-39. At home, the same age group makes up less than 30% of the population. At the same time, the number of unfilled jobs is the highest on record in Hungary.

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